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State of the Screens

The music industry’s 9-figure war for Taylor Swift

By September 4, 2018No Comments
Free agent: Taylor Swift’s current contract with Big Machine Records expires in November and the bidding war looks to be intense.

Album sales for the Billboard Top 200 during the first week of her most recent release:
Taylor Swift — 1.2M
Everyone else — 863K

Historic start: Her first 5 albums sold between 6–10M copies each. No other artist has ever had a start like that.

Each night of her current tour grosses between $5–9M.

She accounts for 80% of her current labels revenue!

Quote from Doug Davis — Founder @ The Davis Firm:
“There’s no precedent to look to regarding the top-selling artist of the digital era becoming a total free agent…Taylor Swift is at an extraordinary point in her career where she can write her own ticket in regards to the commercial terms and deal structure. If she is seeking to break financial records and extend with a major, she could have the biggest artist deal of the century so far. If she wants to be creative and choose an alternative structure for capitalization, she could create her own business model. It’s very exciting.”

Flashback #1: Inside The Weeknd’s $92 Million Year — And The New Streaming Economy Behind It

Streaming revenue for Forbes Celebrity 100 up 119%:
1) 2015 — $177m
2) 2016 — $387m

Musicians make just under $0.01 per stream.

14 artists from the Celebrity 100 generated 1B+ streams in 2016.

Flashback #2: After Driving Streaming Music’s Rise, Spotify Aims to Cash In

How Spotify makes money:
1) Subscriptions — 90%
2) Advertising — 10%

Spotify currently has 157M users around the world.

Types of users (% of total):
1) Non-paying — 86M (55%)
2) Paying — 71M (45%)

Big news: The music industry just finished the best year in a decade with $8.7B in revenue w/ streaming accounting for 65%.

Streaming revenue by year (% growth):
1) 2014 — $1.8B
2) 2015 — $2.3B (↑ 28%)
3) 2016 — $4.0B (↑ 74%)
4) 2017 — $5.7B (↑ 43%)

More: How Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ beat streaming to become 2017’s best-selling album

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.