Madonna’s No. 1 status is written in her MDNA
In this year’s version of Calendar’s Ultimate Top 10, touring proves the key to success, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The ranking is calculated combining income based on numbers reported by Nielsen SoundScan for recordings and the concert industry-tracking publication Pollstar for tours.
A sizable split between artist who made make their income from touring and those earning most of their money from physical or digital recordings has been common since the Ultimate Top 10 began in 1998, but for 2012 all but one of the acts that made the Top 10 have to thank primarily their live shows.
This year’s Ultimate Top 10 also includes a new wrinkle to reflect streaming music, which has become an increasingly critical component of the 21st century media world, and as a complement to the list, they acknowledged those queens and kings of the streaming universe through totals accumulated for streamed audio tracks and videos, also as reported by SoundScan.
As the Los Angeles Times wisely says, this isn’t the final word on musicians’ total financial picture, as it does not include merchandising, product endorsements, song placements in movies and TV shows, ring tones, website subscriptions and myriad other sources of income that artists and their management keep much closer to their vests.
Record sales revenue is calculated using an average price of $10 per album and $1.14 cents per digital track, as more tracks are now being offered at $1.29 per download rather than the 99-cent price that initially was the iTunes standard.
In 2012, Madonna tops the list with $144 million. Here is what they have to say about her:
“The queen of reinvention had the highest-grossing tour worldwide (MDNA) with $296.1 million, so it’s no surprise that she was tops in North America too, thanks to $133.7 million from 45 shows in 31 cities. Like other 1970s and ’80s acts that made the Top 10, a much smaller share of her Ultimate total came from digital track sales – just $2.1 million compared with $8.2 million for physical and digital album sales.”
To read the complete story, please visit the Los Angeles Times.