How much money is Taylor Swift making on her “Eras” tour? Will her latest haul make her a billionaire?
Experts told me in December that her 52-date concert tour could gross $620 million — of which she could keep about $500 million. This week those experts stuck with their estimates — but suggested that she could net even more.
Since that $500 million estimate assumes an average ticket price of $215, her take could be as much as $1.5 billion if the average ticket price is $700 as one expert told me.
If you add in possible international dates, her total take could be even higher.
Estimating ‘Eras’ Tour Ticket Revenue
Taylor Swift is a powerful artist who is tapping into a moment that favors in-person concert-going.
As David Herlihy, a Northeastern University teaching professor and music industry program coordinator, told me last December, “She surpasses all other recording artists in her ability to connect with her fans and write great songs that make people cry. She is beautiful and telegenic. Swifties — who have not attended her concerts since before the pandemic — are craving the in-person concert experience with her.”
The “Eras” tour could enable Swift to tap into that moment to the tune of $500 million by this August when the tour ends up in Glendale, California. That estimate subtracts expenses from the tour’s ticketing and merchandise revenue.
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Billboard estimates “Eras” will generate $591 million in ticketing revenue — 71% more than her 2018 tour, “Reputation,” which sold $345 million worth of tickets.
The Billboard estimate assumes that the average “Eras” ticket price will be $215. That amounts to about $11.4 million in ticket sales per show, which will seat an average of 52,863 Swifties.
The promoter will pay Swift more than just ticket proceeds. How much? Around $620 million — or 105% of ticket revenue.
Herlihy estimated Swift will receive between 100% and 110% of the $591 million in ticket sales for the tour. The reason: “Her promoter should be happy to pay her more because the promoter does not have to assume any risk that her concerts will not sell out.”
The additional money for Swift will come from selling merchandise at the venues — which could add an estimated $87 million in proceeds — much of which she would keep.
As Herlihy explained, each venue — of which “Eras” will occupy 52 — will sell all 30,000 pieces of merchandise on their shelves at an average price of $80 per item. Thirty percent of that would go to the venue and the remainder would go to Swift and the promoter.
But those prices could come down due to problems with prints on “Eras” merchandise “fading or bleeding ink after just one wash cycle,” according to Rolling Stone. While Swift has offered to help provide replacements for the fading merchandise, this problem could reduce merch sales a bit.
Proceeds To Swift After Expenses
I estimate Swift would keep about $500 million of those revenues.
Last December, Herlihy approximated that after expenses Swift could net between $465 million and $496 million. As he said, “She has to pay taxes, her crew, venue rental, and tour expenses — possibly redundant trucks, crews, musical instruments, and so on. These expenses could range between 20% and 25% of her revenue.”
I am guessing her proceeds will be on the high end of that range. As Herlihy explained in an April 5 email, “One thing to remember, Taylor has unique clout, and she has the power to negotiate very beneficial terms on everything (e.g., how much of the ticket revenue goes to her, commissions on merch, etc…).”
He thinks marketing expenses for “Eras” were lower than normal. “Because the shows were an automatic sell out, the expenditure of huge promotion and marketing dollars to stimulate sales was somewhat unnecessary—thus less of a deduction off the top,” he says.
Finally, the December estimate of merchandizing revenues is low. Herlihy says: “The merch figure is probably low—and I recently discovered that the venues may charge less of a commission than I originally cited. Also, that commission is within Taylor’s purview to negotiate down.”
Taylor Swift will almost certainly end 2023 as a billionaire.
Why ‘Eras’ Could Be The Biggest Tour Ever
Billboard’s estimate assumed an average “Eras” ticket price of $215. However, it could be higher which would make “Eras” the biggest grossing concert tour ever. Armen Shaomian, associate professor of entertainment management at University of South Carolina, told me April 4 that the average ticket cost could be close to “$700 or more depending on the location of the show.”
If the average ticket price was $700 instead of $215, “Eras” ticket sales would pop to $1.9 billion — making “Eras” the top grossing tour ever with much higher average ticket prices and far fewer concerts.
Between 2017 and 2019, Ed Sheeran’s European tour grossed $780 million. “It brought in almost nine million total fans, who helped Ed Sheeran bring in over $3 million per show across 255 events,” according to ONE37pm.
Based on the assumptions I used above, a $700 average ticket price from the “Eras” tour would add a whopping $1.5 billion to Swift’s “Eras” take.
The more you pay for your “Eras” seat, the richer Swift gets.
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