With their world tour on the way, country pop stars Taylor Swift and ‘Queen Bey’ are among dozens of mega-stars who have hit the road again to meet the high demand for live music following cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic .
Will a tour generate billions of dollars in revenue? Between Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, the summer of 2023 sees a return to big shows filling stadiums, despite discontent around ticket price inflation. “I’ve never seen so many artists on stage at the same time, in one place”, Stacey Merida, a professor at American University who studies the music industry, says. From Pink to Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen to Drake, not forgetting SZA and The Weeknd, they’re filling stadiums across the United States and around the world, and the year 2023 promises to break records.
Elton John in front of Ed Sheeran
Madonna, a pioneer of contemporary tours with stronger sets and costumes, was supposed to start a new tour in mid-July, but had to postpone it due to health reasons. As a result, it’s Taylor Swift, 33, who looks to see the billion-dollar figure in revenue well within reach — at this point, with 106 dates. Eras Tour, Observers promise similar success for Beyoncé, who begins her North American leg world renaissance tour,
The record so far is in the name of Elton John, whose tour farewell yellow brick roadThe film, which debuted in 2018 and ended in Stockholm on July 8, has grossed $910 million as of June 18, according to specialist site Billboard Boxscore. Before him, pop singer Ed Sheeran earned $776 million from his tour split (2017-2019). But where Sheeran tickets cost an average of $100, according to Pollstar.com, a basic ticket to a Beyoncé or Taylor Swift concert costs at least double that.
beyoncé and inflation
Entertainment company Live Nation, which merged with ticketing site Ticketmaster in 2010, says it has already sold more than 100 million tickets in 2023, more than in 2019. “In a world that has almost fully reopened, it is clear that concerts remain a priority for fans.” Live Nation said in its latest published results. Two dates of Beyonce’s shows in Stockholm in May have been cited by one economist as an inflationary factor for the entire country.
But with the increase in demand is growing discontent with the dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. For years, concert fans have complained about hidden fees, skyrocketing ticket costs, and dwindling supplies due to pre-sales. A topic resurfaced after the chaos surrounding ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s tour forced Ticketmaster to explain itself to the United States Congress over alleged anti-competitive practices.
two speed music industry
“Integrated vertical monopolies actually have a lot of impact in terms of price,” says music industry veteran Andrew Leff, who teaches at the University of Southern California. “If you’re Ticketmaster, you can charge whatever you want, you don’t have competition, and there’s demand for Taylor Swift or Beyoncé, it’s a game of supply and demand”, he told AFP. “They can charge whatever they want, and that’s what they do.” But according to him, not everyone, especially smaller groups, benefits from the music festival boom. “There Are Actually Two Music Industries”, He notes: “The Music Industry of the 1% and the Music Industry of the 99%” Other.
The story is known: Touring is expensive, but it’s a lifeline for artists whose royalties from streaming keep them low. But the post-pandemic situation is driving up demand and prices for everything from room rentals to buses. In the past, independent artist Santigold was one of the first to speak out about these difficulties, and she canceled her tour, explaining that she could not do it. Not “just to make it work”. Main reasons, inflation and competition in a saturated market.