Ed Sheeran is said to be well on his way to becoming a billionaire before the age of 30.
But while the now 28-year-old is currently raking in the money, and building an empire as he goes, there are still hundreds of bands and solo artists still scraping at the barrel.
So where is all the dough at, because that’s the question we all want answering, right?
After the news of the Shape Of You singer’s success, we spoke to a number of industry experts who spread light on where the money is made.
And surprisingly (or not) it isn’t through album sales.
Yes, apparently after streaming sites dominated the scene, less money is made through the music artists create, with more coming in through touring and selling merchandise.
And if you don’t believe us, then hear out Alice Cooper, who told Metro.co.uk that he solely produces albums for the fans – because there’s barely anything else in it for him.
‘It is kind of funny about the whole record industry now,’ he laughed before adding: ‘People like us, who have been around for thirty albums or so, are basically making albums for their fans.’
But it’s not all bad news with streaming, nope, according to Dan Minchom the Managing Director at Ochre, an e-commerce platform for the music industry, sites such as Spotify and YouTube just need to be given time.
He said: ‘Streaming is seeing massive growth and there are huge amounts of money coming into the industry.
‘But a fan simply streaming the record will take many years to contribute as much financially as one who buys merchandise and music directly from the artist.
‘For a new artist; merchandise, vinyl, CD and other physical product sales bring an important immediate payback.
‘However, later on, streaming should still be bringing in money with little ongoing investment.’
The Membranes frontman and creator of the Louder Than War magazine, John Robb also gave his input on the matter, where he explained that despite the internet making music easier to access, it’s also drained the cash flow.
The 58-year-old said: ‘It’s a cruel and cold world full of disappointment but don’t let that put you off your art.’
‘Working hard doesn’t justify getting paid,’ the punk legend affirmed: ‘The internet has made it easier to get heard and harder to get paid. It’s made it too easy to get heard.’
‘In 2019 100,000 bands are chasing your attention. They will nearly all be disappointed. The cake cannot be cut that thinly.
‘There will always be millionaires and there will always be paupers – that’s how music always worked. For every Beatles there was a Rory Storm.’
We bet you’re all Googling Rory Storm now, eh? Or are you still streaming Ariana Grande on Spotify while reading this article?
Just like Ed Sheeran, it seems the Thank U, Next songstress also has it all figured out, and is worth an estimated $50million (£39.6million), according to Celebrity Net Worth.
And while we can’t deny that she is dropping absolute bangers, the 25-year-old is also putting on one heck of a show during her Sweetener tour.
Just like Katy Perry, who in November last year became music’s highest-paid woman with an estimated net worth of $330million (£262million), according to Forbes.
Following her Witness: The Tour, the publication claimed she’d grossed a staggering $1million (£794,475) – per night.
In 2017, it was claimed The Rolling Stones were grossing $8.2million (£6.5million) per show, with Billboard claiming Taylor Swift made $45million (£35.7million) in the first six shows of her Reputation tour.
International lighting designer Tim Routledge, who is currently working on the Spice Girls tour spoke about the significance of getting out on the road, and how taking to the stage is the key element in both fame and fortune.
He told us: ‘The huge growth in concert sales versus physical music sales has hit at a perfect time in the development of show technology, creating a sweet spot between demand for shows and ever-changing possibilities to push the envelope in show design.
‘Never before have we as show designers had more options and tools at our disposal, plus the willingness of artists to adapt their shows to engage and amaze.’
The expert added: ‘By capitalising on the development of technology in show creation, artists are able to connect with their fans on a more personal level, therefore creating a greater demand from fans to see their “idols” in a live experience.
‘Combining this with the audiences increasing need to be wowed – the money flowing into the live entertainment business is far greater than it ever has been.
‘Tours are getting bigger and more elaborate than they ever have been. The music that is being created is the artist’s art, however, the real money is now in “the live experience.”’
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