Artists now spend significantly more time touring than they did in the pre-Napster days (estimates here vary) and command close to 35% more per ticket on an inflation-adjusted basis. As a result, the US concert industry has nearly tripled since 1999 (when recorded music sales peaked).
Yet, what’s typically overlooked by this narrative is that the vast majority of this growth – 83% to be exact – has gone to non-Top 100 touring artists. In 2000, the Top 100 tours (which included ‘NSYNC, Metallica and Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre) collected nearly 90% of annual concert revenues. Today, that share has fallen to only 44%. Furthermore, the Top 100 tours have faced stagnant revenues for close to a decade, with both ticket prices and sales largely flat:
So in all, the pains and changes over the past 15 years have been unevenly distributed.
The most popular artists have seen their primary income stream, recorded music sales, collapse by more than 70% in inflation-adjusted terms since 2000 (~$14B), while their conc