Unless you have lived deep under a rock for the last 17 years, you know who Taylor Swift is. Singer songwriter, pop culture icon, and American sweetheart of the music industry, Swift has been breaking records and topping charts since her debut album was released back in 2006. With her single “Our Song”, Swift became the youngest artist in history at just 17 to top the Country charts in 2006. She was dubbed Artist of The Decade at the 2019 American Music Awards, holds 12 Grammy awards to her name, and is the highest earning female musician of the past decade, having earned a whopping $825 million between the years 2010 to 2019. To put it concisely, she is a powerhouse superstar, a force to be reckoned with in the music business and recorded music industry, and her success shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Swift’s worldwide Eras tour kicked off in March 2023, and currently has dates scheduled until November 2024. Swift is currently set to perform a total of 146 shows across North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. The show is an impressive production with a run time of over 3 hours featuring 44 songs, and tens of thousands of audience viewers gathering every night for the performance. The Eras tour has been described by many as one of the most notable cultural phenomena of the 21st century, with the term “Swiftmania” creeping steadily into several articles to describe the fanaticism of the pop star’s dedicated enthusiasts, of course alluding to the iconic “Beatlemania” of the 1960’s. Simply put, Swift’s Eras tour is an objectively exceptional feat of the live music industry. And the staggering figures are proving it.
The ‘Eras’ Tour Could Generate Almost $5 Billion in Economic Impact, More Than the Gross Domestic Product of 50 Countries
When people attend Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, many are not just simply attending a concert. They are making a trip of it, travelling cross-country – sometimes even cross-continent – to be there. The stimulation of local economies is evident: her two night stop in Denver, Colorado is estimated to have contributed $140 million to the state’s GDP. Leading up to Swift’s two-night spectacle at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, hotels in the area were reported to have been sold out for weeks with fans flocking into the city for the sold out performances, with similar phenomena in other cities where the tour has rolled through. In Philadelphia, hotel revenue in the month of May skyrocketed to its highest point since the onset of the pandemic, thanks to Swift’s May 13th stop at Lincoln Financial Field. You get the point: where Taylor Swift goes, money follows, and lots of it. Economic journalist and analyst Augusta Saraiva coined the term “Swiftonomics”, referring to the unprecedented supply and demand of Taylor Swift as well as her political impact following Covid-19.
In June 2023, market research firm QuestionPro estimated that Swift’s Eras tour could help to add nearly $5 billion to the global economy. To put that into perspective, Dan Fleetwood, President of QuestionPro Research and Insights says: “If Taylor Swift were an economy, she’d be bigger than 50 countries; if she was a corporation, her Net Promoter Score would make her the fourth most admired brand, and her loyalty numbers mimic those of subjects to a royal crown. It’s all a testament to her focus on the fan experience.”
The Average ‘Eras’ Tour Attendee Spends Over $1,300 to Attend
QuestionPro’s research also estimates that the average Eras tour attendee spends about $1,300 on the entire affair. 71 percent of the study’s 596 participants stated it was worth it because the experience was so rewarding, and 91 percent said they would go again. You might be wondering how it’s possible to spend so much money at Taylor Swift concerts, but the math adds up – and adds up quite quickly, at that.
The average ticket to a Swift Eras concert is about $250, with special VIP packages reaching up to $1200 for the mega fans willing to splurge for the added perks of exclusive merchandise, etc. Ticketmaster saw unprecedented demand for ticket sales back in Spring 2023, causing website crashes and shows becoming sold out within minutes, resulting in widespread protests and complaints against the major ticket vendor. Resale tickets were quickly listed for astonishing prices, sometimes reaching 5 figures.
It is not uncommon to hear of concert attendees travelling for their shows, either by car, bus, train, or plane. Whether it’s gas for a road trip or airfare for a cross-country flight, Swifties seem more than willing to drop hundreds of dollars for travel expenses alone, just to make it to the stadium.
Chicago tourism officials reported that the first weekend of June – coinciding with Swift’s touchdown in the city – broke hotel occupancy records. Chicago saw more than 44,000 total hotel rooms occupied each night and $39 million in total hotel revenue. Needless to say, Taylor Swift concert goers are spending a substantial amount on accommodation in every city she visits.
Merchandise, Food, Drink, Outfits, etc.
Official Eras tour merchandise ranges from approximately $10 to $75 USD, and many fans find it hard to leave with just one item. The affair has become somewhat of a fashion showcase, with many fans arriving in elaborate homemade outfits serving as homages to past looks Swift herself sported, or references to their favorite song or entire studio album. With many fans making multi-day trips of the concert, one can only speculate about the total amount spent on food, drink, and other.
How Does The ‘Eras’ Tour Stimulate Local Economies?
A massive contribution to the income generated by Swift’s concerts are from out-of-region visitors to the cities she is touring. With thousands of tourists at each show, either from out-of-state or out-of-country, these visitors need lodging, food, local transportation, and more. These tourists increase the demand of goods and services before and after the shows, all of which contribute greatly to the stimulation of these local economies.
The Cincinnati Regional Chamber estimated that Swift’s tour would create around 900 jobs. Nationwide, the tour is increasing the need for flexible labor. The demand of net new employment comes from the increased need for workers in and around the massive tour; from stadium employees, such as security, concession stand workers, and janitors, to offsite workers, such as hotel and restaurant staff in the immediate vicinity.
Depending on the city and their individual tax codes, economic activities often result in fiscal benefits because of tax revenues. Swift’s Eras tour is expected to have a major impact on federal, state, and local tax revenues, with tickets, food and beverage, accommodation, and sales taxes each taking their share.
Taylor Swift’s Music Empire: What Swift Teaches Us as a Business Woman
If you’re not a fan or follower of Taylor Swift, the figures presented in this post may be astonishing, possibly even slightly unbelievable. According to the Wall Street Journal, Swift’s Eras tour is on its way to becoming the highest grossing tour of all time, with her potential earnings reaching over $1 billion. This would surpass the current no. 1 spot held by musician Elton John, and would mark a monumental moment in the music world – all while adding just another exceptional accomplishment to Swift’s long list of career wins and broken records.
The musical and cultural empire that Swift has built throughout her 17 year old career is, undoubtedly, a force to be reckoned with. When looking at the stats, it’s hard to deny that Swift herself is a fierce mastermind of a business woman. What are some strategies that make Taylor Swift and her personal brand so successful, and what can we learn from her?
The Importance of Building Community
Both her team and Taylor Swift’s personal usage of social media is an exceptional example of how to build and maintain a strong, loyal community with the help of the internet. Swift has been known over the years to interact frequently with fans online, whether it be through Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, or Tumblr. She is seen liking and commenting on fans’ posts, creating inside jokes with her fanbase and ultimately, in a sense, humanizing herself. As the team at Tony Robbins puts it: “[Taylor Swift] doesn’t use social for marketing, she uses it for mentioning”.
This more personal use of social media makes her fans feel more special and privy to her true, authentic self. This, in turn, drives fanaticism as the already talented, likeable pop star becomes even more likeable and relatable.
Keeping Your Brand Relevant
Swift’s brand has been an ever changing entity throughout her career spanning almost two decades. Her musical sound, outfits, style, and overall aesthetics have evolved and coincided with ever changing cultural and social trends, and have always managed to stay relevant with what’s currently “in” with her targeted audience. Taylor Swift fans never need to worry about growing old with her sound or vision because it is always evolving and staying relevant, an essential strategy for any business.
Diversifying Revenue Streams
While touring is generally credited to be her main source of income, Taylor Swift’s entire net worth does not stem solely from her music career. She has created a varied range of merchandise, from clothing to jewelry and collector snow globes. She profits on endorsements with brands such as Peloton and Starbucks, and owns a series of significant real estate investments across the US. For any business, diversifying your revenue streams is a surefire way to reach a wider audience and optimize your potential earnings.
Giving Back to Your Loyal Clients
Swift famously hosted a series of “Secret Sessions”, private listening parties held at her own home to preview new music pre-release to some of her biggest fans, personally selected by Taylor Swift herself. In 2014, she went viral for posting a YouTube video in which she purchased personalized gifts for a handful of lucky fans, even going as far as driving from New York to Connecticut to hand deliver one of these gifts to an adoring mother and son.
Not only do these small acts of giving back boost engagement and dedication – fans are driven to post more, share more, wondering ‘what if I’m next?’ – but also serve to foster an image of a pop star, singer, and business woman that truly cares about her fans and wants to know them on a personal level.
Not only is Taylor Swift a beloved star on the radio and on stage, but the astounding success of her Eras tour is a testament to the immense power she holds within the world of music and the world of business – and it seems to only be getting better and better for her. From humble beginnings as an aspiring country music star moving to Nashville, Tennessee to make a name for herself to being named 2022’s highest paid female entertainer, the business strategies that Swift has implemented throughout her career are evidently working and paying off well, making it fair game to call her an exceptionally skilled business woman.
Do you have dreams or aspirations of building a brand or name for yourself like Taylor Swift? While we can’t promise to plan a worldwide tour with pyrotechnics and a team of professional dancers for you, RankWorks is your premier destination for the best digital marketing tools available. With our services, you will reap the benefits of having a team of experienced professionals working for you, implementing the best strategies to optimize your online website and boost your revenue and brand visibility. Learn more about the services we have to offer, and get your online business on the right track today with RankWorks!