Taylor Swift earned $92 million in 2022, making her one of the top-paid entertainers in the world, according to Forbes. But that’s just a fraction of what she could take home in 2023.
Swift’s earnings in 2022 included sales from her album “Midnights,” released that year, plus royalties from previous albums. But Swift didn’t hit the concert circuit last year — and in case you haven’t heard the news, she embarked on a tour this year that could ultimately gross $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And that’s not even factoring in her new — well, sorta new — album: Swift just released “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” a re-recording of her 2010 album by the same name. The new version also features six “From the Vault” songs not included on the original release.
In other words, 2023 is shaping up to be quite a different payday for the 33-year-old artist whose net worth already stands at $740 million, according to Forbes.
MarketWatch did an analysis of what Swift could earn this year, based on published reports and other information. Here’s how it breaks down.
Touring: $228 million
This is the biggie. Swift’s current “Eras Tour” is perhaps the highest-grossing concert the world has ever seen. And, yes, it really could bring in $1 billion over its run of 100-plus dates, which goes through 2024. That works out to roughly $10 million per show, though The Wall Street Journal reported some dates can gross $13 million-plus.
We’ll stick with the $10 million figure. Given that Swift has about 65 dates on this year’s touring calendar, that equals $650 million. But an artist doesn’t keep all that money — the Journal noted that when all the expenses are paid, each show results in a profit of $3.5 million to $4 million for Swift. If you go with the lower figure, that’s 65 times $3.5 million, which equates to $227.5 million. We’ll be generous and round that up to $228 million.
Back catalog: $65 million
It’s been reported that 70% of Swift’s $92 million in earnings last year came from her back catalog, including streaming and album sales. That equates to $64.4 million. Of course, as they say on Wall Street, past performance is no guarantee of future results. But it’s hard to imagine at a time when Swift has become such a pop-culture juggernaut (heck, she “broke” Ticketmaster), that she’d earn any less in back-catalog sales. So, we’ll stick conservatively with the $64.4 million figure. But again, in the spirit of generosity, we’ll round it up to $65 million.
New album: $14 million
Since “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” is just out, we can’t truly say how it will sell. But this is the third “re-recorded” album that Swift has put out, so we have some idea of how these albums do. Specifically, we know that “Red (Taylor’s Version),” her 2021 re-recorded album, sold close to 1.7 million copies that year. So again, we’ll be conservative and say “Speak Now,” which retails for around $18, will sell at least 1.5 million copies — or roughly $27 million in terms of the dollar figure.
Of course, artists don’t get to keep all that money, since the label has to take its cut, which can range from 50% to 90%, according to the Indie Music Academy. Still, the more important the artist, the bigger the cut they can demand. Since there’s almost no one bigger than Swift right now, we’ll figure she’s letting the label take only 50%, which still leaves her with a nice $13.5 million payday. Let’s call it $14 million for the sake of easy math.
Endorsement deals: $25 million
When you have a fan base like Taylor Swift has, you have a lot of brands that want to buy into your, well, brand. Swift has made endorsement deals with everyone from Apple to Target. One publication estimated she took in $50 million in endorsements between 2016 and 2017. That works out to $25 million a year. And that’s well before the current “Eras” mania. Still, we’ll be conservative again (notice a pattern?) and stick with the $25 million figure.
Miscellaneous: Who knows?
Swift has plenty of other streams of income. She sells merchandise. She has real-estate investments. Even her cat rakes in millions of dollars (we assume the money goes to Swift, unless her feline friend has managed to open its own bank account). But she also has expenses — and in the music business, you pay plenty for managers, attorneys and other folks who help you mind the store. So, we’ll call it a break-even proposition when we add and subtract everything in the miscellaneous category, even though we suspect Swift is making plenty of money from these other streams.
The grand total: $332 million
As we said, not a bad payday. To put that in context, Genesis, the highest paid entertainer in 2022, according to Forbes, earned $230 million (and most of that money came from a one-time sale of their publishing rights). So, $332 million could very well make Swift the 2023 earnings champ.