It may be a digital age, but live is still the big cash driver for the top 40 earners on our annual list.
The U.S. music business offers a matrix of trends to satisfy chart watchers and number crunchers. New CD sales continue to fall. Digital music sales are rising nearly 10 years after the launch of the iTunes Music Store. Streaming and subscription revenue are growing as music lovers choose easy access over-and, sometimes, in addition to-physical ownership.
These trends, however, matter very little to the most successful earners in the industry. When it comes to making the biggest score, the most money always comes from high-paying live performances.
Concerts make up 68.9% of revenue for the 40 artists on Billboard's Moneymakers list, which tallies artists' annual earnings. Remove Adele and Taylor Swift, both of whom didn't earn any U.S. touring income in 2012, and the average increases to 72.5%-a figure on par with the 72.6% in 2010 and the 68.3% that touring represented in 2011.
Perhaps Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said it best during a conference last week, noting that music artists now make "90% of their money on the road. It's truly become the center of their financial world."
Madonna tops the 2012 list, in part because 93.5% of her total revenue came from concerts. Bruce Springsteen, a close second, earned 92% of his revenue from live shows. Roger Waters, a distant third, had the highest concert share on the list with 93.6%. The entire top 10 averaged 84.2% of their income from concerts, and the number would have been higher, if not for Justin Bieber's mere 60.1% share at No. 10 dragging down the average.
Billboard estimates the 2012 Moneymakers artists pocketed $373 million from concerts after paying agents, managers and expenses. That was up from $329 million in 2011 but down from $383 million in 2010. For all Moneymakers artists, touring income accounted for 72.8% of revenue in 2011 and 75.1% of revenue in 2012. Artists at the top of the list got an even greater share of revenue from touring. A top 10 artist made 84.2% of income from concerts in 2012 compared with 75.8% in 2011 and 81.7% in 2010.
Ironically, the most popular touring artists are usually well past their peaks on the album sales charts. In fact, touring revenue was negatively correlated with CD sales (-0.35 correlation), digital album sales (-0.43) and digital track sales (-0.38) in 2012. In other words, touring revenue doesn't move in the same direction as recorded-music sales for the 40 acts on the Moneymakers list. Artists with higher touring revenue have lower recorded-music sales and vice versa. Touring revenue is also negatively correlated with noninteractive streaming services like Pandora (-0.36) and streaming revenue in general (-0.4).
This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. Major touring artists who command large revenue tend to be decades past their peak in recorded-music sales. In the case of the rock band Rush, for example, there wasn't a lot of music-streaming activity to go along with the group's strong touring and decÂent recorded-music revenue. Indeed, Rush earned 77.2% of its revenue from concerts and only 16.2% from recorded music-CDs, digital albums and/or digital tracks-but just 0.04% from streaming.
Touring wasn't vital for every act on the Moneymakers list. Two major artists, Swift -- who topped last year's rankings -- and Adele, made the list without any concert earnings for the year. Meanwhile, two others-Mumford & Sons and Maroon 5-pocketed less than $1 million in concert earnings for 2012. In percentage terms, touring accounted for just 12.6% of Mumford & Sons' total revenue and only about 2.6% of Maroon 5's total.
The singer has published a letter from the photo-sharing site revealing concerns that she is violating community guidelines.
Instagram has threatened to shut down Madonna's photo-sharing account, claiming the singer has violated their community guidelines.
Madonna posted her letter from "the Instagram Team" without offering any comments on its contents. "Dear Madonna," it begins. "It has come to our attention that your account on Instagram has violated our community guidelines … We ask that you: don't share photos that aren't yours [and] don't share photos that show nudity or mature content." The notice also cited two other rules, concerning "photos of illegal content" and "photos that attack an individual or group".
It is not clear which of Madonna's photos provoked the ire of Instagram's monitors. Since launching her account in November, the singer has only posted 19 photos. Most of them are hardly controversial: self-shots of Madonna's lips, the image of a horse, a valentine from her daughter. But Madonna hasn't always been so demure. In one photo, there is a glimpse of the singer's cleavage. In another, shot during one of the Material Girl's recent concerts, her bottom features prominently.
Still, none of this seems more tawdry than the average 19-year-old's Twitter-stream feed. More likely, Facebook-owned Instagram is leery of the photos Madonna has shared of painter Frida Kahlo. One of these was taken by Antonio Kahlo, the other by Lucienne Bloch.
Madonna hasn't responded directly to Instagram's letter, leaving it to her 150,000-plus followers to comment on the notice. Last week, Billboard named Madonna the highest-earning musician of 2012, collecting almost $35m (£23m) – most of it from concerts. She last topped the Billboard list in 2008.
Beyoncé has revealed that Madonna inspired her to take control of her own career.
The singer ended her management relationship with her father back in 2010 before recording her last album 4 and admitted that the new arrangement required "a different level of commitment".
"When I recorded 4, I decided it's okay. I'm going to be independent," Beyoncé told The Gentlewoman.
"I just have memories of when there was no air conditioning in the new building and we didn't have an office, and it was like camping. It was like, 'If you want to be a part of this, you got to grind it out'.
"It's a different level of commitment, because it comes from love and respect, and that's how I try to lead.
"I think about Madonna and how she took all of the great things she achieved and started the label and developed other artists. But there are not enough of those women."
The star went on to explain that she wants to become a mogul like her male music peers, as not enough women strive to achieve that.
"Now I'm controlling my content, controlling my brand and archiving it for my daughter and making sure she has it and she respects it," she said.
"You see Puffy and you see my husband and you see these male artists that become moguls, and the female artists might become legends, but there's not enough of us that become moguls. And I think there are many ways to get there."
Yes! It's that time of year again!
Sure, the Oscars are going on this weekend, but we might be a leeeettle bit more excited for Madonna's Oscar party!
The fun is going down again this year with the super fab bash being held Sunday night at the El Lay home of her manager, Guy Oseary.
And the star power will be out in full force for the party as Anne Hathaway, Leonardo DiCaprio, Salma Hayek, Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts and Bradley Cooper are ALL expected to attend.
Oh, and did we mention Katy Perry and John Mayer will also be there! Think she'll be wearing that suspicious ring??
All we know is we can't wait to hear the shocking, HIGHlarious and possibly naughty stories the morning after!
It's gonna be GRAND!! It's gonna be Madonna-style GRAND!!
A fixture in the downtown New York City scene of the early 1980s, he held court at Danceteria and produced the Queen of Pop's debut single, Everybody. Says Madonna in a statement to THR: "He believed in me before anyone else did."
Pioneering DJ and producer Mark Kamins, who was instrumental in facilitating the signing of Madonna to Sire Records in 1982, has died. He was 57. According to BlackBook, on Feb. 14, he suffered "a massive coronary" in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he has been teaching. Word spread on Facebook, where many friends of the Downtown New York City scenester posted remembrances. The particular poignancy of his passing is surely the marking of the chronology of those connected to the incipient development of the biggest musical star of our time -- the mortality surrounding the cultural immortal that is the Queen of Pop.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Madonna writes: "I'm very sorry to hear about Marks death. I haven't seen him for years but if it weren't for him, I might not have had a singing career. He was the first DJ to play my demos before I had a record deal. He believed in me before anyone else did. I owe him a lot. May he Rest in Peace."
Kamins, noted for always living his life in the grandest of fashions, had apparently been struggling with heart problems for some months.
Legend has it that he took the budding superstar and clubland habitue Madonna Ciccone under his wing, passing her demo on to Sire Records honcho Seymour Stein, who quickly signed her -- the rest, of course, is pop history. Kamins, who also produced her nascent single Everybody, would be the first in a line of high-profile Madonna beaus, eventually to be usurped by the likes of Jellybean Benitez and, of course, many others. A significant talent in his own right, he went on to work with radical performance artist Karen Finley, as well as 80's musical giants such as David Byrne, the Beastie Boys and Sinead O'Connor.
Benitez wrote on Facebook: "So sad to learn of the passing of Mark Kamins ... I will never forget the first time we met and how much we laughed ... I also loved watching and listening to you DJ at Danceteria ... I never knew what you would play next ... U are and will always be an inspiration to many ... I will miss u ... Rest in Peace my friend."
Downtown documentarian Steve Lewis writes on BlackBookMag.com that Kamins "was brilliant yet lost, a good friend but often very much a loner. I DJ'd with him at subMercer a couple years back and it was just about the most fun I've had at that game."
Kamins perhaps distinctly represented a lost New York club scene of debauchery and illicit behavior, replaced now by bottle service and bankers. A fixture at the legendarily uninhibited Danceteria, where he mingled not only with the soon-to-be Material Girl, but also with downtown icons Keith Haring, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys, his remixes included superstars of the time like Kajagoogoo and Ofra Haza.
Seemingly universally loved for his benevolence, he was memorialized in a posting by friend Marci Weber on Facebook: "Mark was a friend to so many people and always had a good story. He was a kind hearted generous man and always had time for his friends. He lived life to it's fullest and perhaps that is why he left us so soon."
His legacy is secure as a central figure of one of New York City's most fertile and experimental periods in terms of music, clubbing and lifestyle iconoclasm.
Exact details of Kamin's passing were not known by press time. He is survived by a son.
All Madonna fans are eagerly waiting for some news on the DVD release of last year's MDNA Tour. And with Madonna relaunching her Instagram account this week, it was a good opportunity to heat up the anticipation.
Madonna posted a picture from her Like A Virgin performance, showing off her behind. The comment reads "Working on the edit of the live concert!". So we know they're working on it, but it's not finished yet. That squashes the rumours about a March 2013 release.
While there's no release date or other details revealed, we're hoping to get more info on this highly anticipated release soon!
Madonna's boyfriend Brahim Zaibat has revealed that the couple's Valentine's Day plans will be pretty normal.
And the 25-year-old dancer says it is likely that February 14 will involve dinner and a movie "like everybody else."
Speaking after modelling at the Jeremy Scott Fall 2013 fashion show at New York Fashion Week, Brahim revealed the special day will be no different from any other.
"Valentine's Day for me is every day," he declared to ET Online.
"There is no one day for love. If you love, it's every day."
Brahim has been dating the Material Girl for two years following her divorce from film director husband Guy Ritchie.
The Frenchman, who is 30 years Madonna's junior, said they are equals when it comes to romance.
"Both of us. Equal - we are equal," he laughed.
"Give her love every day I think is the most romantic."
Madonna and Brahim met in September 2010, just a few weeks after the singer split from her previous toyboy Jesus Luz, who was 28 years her junior.
And the star apparently wished Brahim "good luck" on his modelling stint.
"I've been a dancer all my life but now I'll try modelling why not?" he said, adding that he was not at all nervous about the show.
"It's just walking so I don't know why to be nervous. If it was a show and learning stuff okay, but it's just walking so I'm happy."
Who needs Grammy nominations when you've got an iPhone and no inhibitions?
Madonna relaunched her Instagram page this weekend, adding a trio of selfies to the handful of concert shots she posted back in November. (The Grammys, which snubbed MDNA completely, were also this weekend. Coincidence?)
Like other celebrity Instagram users, it looks like Madge is going to use the site as a fairly personal forum ; the first photo she posted this weekend shows the star doing her best Samantha Jones impression while drinking a dirty martini and rocking a lingerie-inspired dress, and the second is a close-up shot of her glistening cleavage accompanied by a caption that reads “Addicted to sweat!!!!!” (It doubles as the name of her workout DVD collection.)
But there's more to Madonna than boobs and… boobs. In her most recent photo, she trades revealing outfits for sunglasses and a hat with long knitted strings she's tied right above her lip. Caption? “Im thinking of shaving my mustache!!!!”
Madonna will auction off items from her record-breaking MDNA Tour to benefit Sandy victims, sources tell us.
We hear her Madgesty will sell items that may include the majorette costume and the caged basque she wore onstage, as well as props for the set (but not the gun she used for the gig).
After Sandy, Madge visited the Rockaways with Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA's chief curator and director of PS1. Then, the next night, she stripped onstage while urging fans to donate to the relief effort.
What? You didn't think Beyonce was going to come back quietly did you? It's beyond Beyonce overload as we predicted in December, and Bey has returned snatching wigs. Her Super Bowl XLVII performance slayed and has helped solidify her place among the greats such as Prince, Diana Ross and Madonna. And the general consensus may have ranked Bey's mini-concert (because that's what she gave) above Madonna's halftime performance last year, the numbers don't agree.
Madge is just going to forever be queen no matter who's gunning for the crown. Slowly looks toward Lady Gaga. Bey considers herself the King, but she couldn't top the ratings or viewership numbers of the Queen. See, the King doesn't always trump a Queen. And what's wrong with a woman being a Queen anyway? Digressing. According to SB Nation, Madonna's halftime show remains the most watched ever at 114 million viewers. In comparison 100 million US viewers tuned in to watch Bey pop it in her onesie leotard. Per Deadline Beyonce pulled a 71 rating for the 8:00-8:30 p.m. ET slot to a very close 72 rating for Madonna's show. Cheers to the Queens of the world.
She came. She sang. She got paid, but a Ukrainian judge says not enough.
Madonna's first-ever concert in Kyiv last August left lots of fond memories for fans, but a legal nightmare for the show's organizers. Melnitsa International, who brought the pop queen to Ukraine, lost a lawsuit on Jan. 18 for apparently violating Madonna's copyright.
The company was ordered by a Kyiv district court to pay Hr 1.09 million($136,000) in damages, including Hr 322,866 (about $40,000) to Madonna herself. But it's unclear whether the diva knows anything about the cash the Ukrainian court awarded her because it wasn't her who started the legal process and claimed her rights were breached.
Madonna's spokesperson did not respond to requests for comments by the time Kyiv Post went to press.
The lawsuit against Madonna's concert organizers was instigated by the state Ukrainian Agency for Copyright and Related Rights. The agency's role is to collect royalties in Ukraine from concerts, clubs, radio stations and so on, and pass the cash on to official representatives of artists.
By law, concert organizers have to pay 5 percent of their take to copyright holders on top of the sum indicated in the direct contract with the singer.
The regulating agency claimed that Madonna's concert organizers breached her copyright, as well as the rights of 46 authors of the songs performed during the concert, because they failed to sign an agreement with the state body before dealing with Madonna, and instead paid her royalties to an irrelevant company.
“We have warned to get a license with (our) agency for using the songs,” said Sergiy Rogozhin, the agency's deputy director. “They didn't do it ... and violated the copyright which we're managing.”
He said his agency has exclusive contracts for Madonna's (and many other artists') copyright in Ukraine.↑ Back to top of page