The Wall Street Journal ran a piece ‘Music Superstars Are the New One Percenters‘. A small number of artists have taken the lion’s share of the market which would include touring and music sales. For instance, just three artists including Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé collectively generated $1 billion in concert-ticket revenue in 2018. Beyoncé and Jay-Z charged $117 a ticket while Taylor Swift approximately charged $119, and Ed Sheeran a little lower at $89. That’s the top of the industry of course, not the bottom. We don’t need to look at the bottom, but if you really want to know, the lesser known acts were grossing $2,500 in 2017 from concert tickets.
Music superstars have always been the one percenters. The music business is a winner-takes-all market with those at the top get a disproportionate share of the market. It’s because the superstars drive the value what is produced. Consumers are willing to pay more for Ed Sheeran than a relatively unknown artist. The superstars also have a great deal power at the negotiation table. They are making more money today because of endorsement income which has become a significant revenue source. These superstars are dominant in the entertainment economy and are occupying even more space on playlists and radio charts leaving less for developing artists.
We first featured Danny Rocco in 2015 when he and his bandmate went under the moniker of Secret Weapons. The duo signed with Epic Records after gaining traction on Spotify and opening up for Weezer, Fall Out Boy, and Panic! The duo shortly parted ways after a regime change at the label. With remarkable resilience, Danny went solo and re-invented himself as Des Rocs. With his latest single SLO, Danny tells Kings, “It’s about being so infatuated with someone that even as they’re killing you, you want it to last a little longer just to spend a few more minutes with them.” Spotify has been a big supporter which placed the Brooklyn based artist on the biggest rock playlist “Rock This”. He’s very active live just finishing a 23 city sold out North American tour with Grandson and will embark on U.S tour next week with The Struts. Give it a stream!
California pop duo X Lovers sign with Visionary/RCA Records. Eventually moving to LA setting up a music studio, the two 21-year-olds from Nevada City have been collaborating as a team since they were 10. Check out the track Easy. Give it a stream.
Fresh-on-the-scene 20 year old New Zealand producer who goes under the moniker of OSQAR releases the catchy pop tune Day By Day. Sonically, it’s reminiscent of The Weeknd. Starting as a drummer in an indie rock band, he found himself in electronic music and production this is where the vision for OSQAR started. Give it a stream!
If it’s any act that has GOD’s anointing it is Hillsong United. The christian act won their first #1 album outpacing P!nk. Without any top 40 radio support and marketing, the latest effort is a LIVE album, not a big budget studio album. The album features 12 live tracks which was recorded in Sydney, Australia.
Joel Houston says “The hope for the project is simply understanding the power of music as a means of bringing people together, and letting it serve as a reminder that in our culture––the call to love our neighbour is a revolutionary act that perhaps rings louder now than ever.”
Now that the christian act scored their first album, is this a once in a lifetime event? Definitely not. With 5 studio albums and 14 Live Albums, the band has been growing in popularity for years. What I do know is that P!nk won’t be releasing her next album during the same week as Hillsong United, that’s of course if she wants a #1 album.