From this simple question, we started our study of top earning musicians and how their incomes stack up against common jobs.
We knew that the world's highest paid musicians make a lot of money. But the difference between their incomes and average salaries took us by surprise.
This difference is perhaps best captured in this statistic:
"Taylor Swift makes average annual minimum wage ($15,080) in just 47 minutes"
Eventually, the study revealed some interesting insight, as shown below.
We started this study by making a list of the top earning musicians in 2016. We used data from Forbes and Billboard to make this list. For most musicians, this included incomes from album sales, touring, sponsorship and merchandise sales.
Eventually, we had 40 musicians across multiple genres:
Earnings Per Minute
Guns n Roses
Mumford and Sons
Twenty One Pilots
Some things were expected. The 5 highest earning musicians were all from the s genre. The next few were mostly older bands making their money through royalties and tours.
In terms of genre representation, these were the average earnings for artists across the 6 genres:
The most interesting stat, however, was the earnings per minute and earnings per hour. For instance, with an annual income of $170M, Taylor Swift makes $19,406/hour.
That's 2,587x the minimum wage!
When comparing these musicians' incomes against average people, we choose the following 5 professions:
Here are their average incomes as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Thus, at an hourly income of $19,406, Taylor Swift would make minimum wage in just 47 minutes, and earn as much as a real estate broker in 4h5m
We've condensed all this information in a single infographic as seen below.
This is a large infographic so you'll want to see the full image to get all the details. Either click the infographic or click this link to access the full-sized infographic.
Top musicians, like most celebrities, make substantially higher incomes compared to regular jobs.
Putting these figures in the context of time, however, shows the sheer magnitude of this difference.
If you'd like a study focusing on other professions and celebrities, shoot us an email and we'll happily explore the idea.
You have complete freedom to share this image as and where you see fit. However, we invested hundreds of man hours in designing and researching this data. In return for freely sharing this image, we only ask you to link to this page - Top Musicians vs You - when sharing.