This Explains Why So Many Veteran Acts Won’t (Can’t?) Stop Touring

Another Rolling Stones tour? U2 is on the road again? The Eagles are playing “Hotel California” live on a regular basis? Why don’t these acts just retire?

Answer: They can’t. There’s just too much money to be made–and this is the best way to make it.

Back in the day, an artist could live off the royalties from their back catalogue. A hit album was like an annuity that paid out year after year. All you had to do was go to the mailbox every six months or to collect your cheque.

The Beastie Boys cashed plenty of cheques for sales of Licensed to Ill which was one of the all-time best-selling catalogue albumshe surviving Doors never had to worry about money because all their records sold between one and two million copies a year. And even though Ringo was credited with just two Beatles songs, they made made millions and millions. Forensic accounting into the books of any major veteran artist will reveal similar stories.

That’s not the case anymore. Want to maintain that rock’n’roll lifestyle? Record sales aren’t gonna bring in enough revenue. Time to head back on the road where there’s plenty of money to be made.

Billboard has this list of the top money-earners in music from 2014.  And guess where most of their money came from? Touring. And look how much of their income came from being on the road. Add this…

bb_earner_pie1-moneymakers-bb13-2915-billboard-510

 

…to this.

 

bb_earner_pie3-moneymakers-bb13-2915-billboard-510

Any more questions?  Get all the details here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.