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The 1 Percent: Income Inequality Has Never Been Worse Among Touring Musicians…

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The internet has broken down the barrier between artists and fans, allowing anyone to distribute their music without the help of a record label via services such as iTunes and Spotify.  So how come spending on live gigs is more concentrated on the top 1% of touring acts than ever before? A decade old study may hold the answer.

The study, based on Pollstar figures, shows that between 1982 and 2003 the share of concert revenue that went to the top 1% of touring acts more than doubled, from 26% to 56%.  The digital era doesn’t seem to have reversed this trend either, as numbers from February through June this year show that top percent grabbing 56.3% of live revenue.

Note that in 1982 almost 40% of the revenue was divided between

the “bottom” 95% of artists, while in 2003 they received only 15%

of all revenue.

Now, let’s take a look at the average age of the top grossing artists.  If one ever needed proof of the live industry belonging to artists that launched at least 30 years ago, one need only look at this summer’s festival season in the UK.

Having already played Wembley Stadium (capacity 90,000) a couple of weeks ago, 63-year-old Bruce Springsteen came back to headline Hard Rock Calling (capacity 60,000) last weekend.

by  Helienne Lindvall / digital music


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This entry was posted on July 11, 2013 by in NEWS and tagged , , .

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