With Taylor Swift teasing her much-anticipated seventh album, the “Delicate” singer is poised to break multiple records — again.
Swift’s previous album, “Reputation,” sold more than 2 million copies in the US, and the coinciding tour broke records as the highest-grossing US stadium tour of all time. The singer-songwriter currently has a net worth of $320 million, 10 Grammys, and is arguably one of the most influential figures in pop culture today.
Over the years, Taylor Swift’s influence has only grown. In 2018, she was even named the most influential person on Twitter, despite only tweeting 13 times. Whether it’s pulling her music from Spotify, negotiating fairer royalties with Apple Music, or signing a reportedly $200 million contract with Universal, Swift has been strategic in building her empire.
Since 2006, Swift has released six albums, all of which went platinum. Her 2014 album, “1989” sold over 3.7 million units, making it the best-selling album of the year. Taylor Swift is one of the few artists to still use a long-lead album release cycle, one that typically takes three months. Since Beyoncé’s surprise album drop in 2013, many artists have been releasing their albums on a quicker cycle to varying degrees of success.
That unprecedented move worked for Beyoncé because she’s … Beyoncé. Likewise, Swift’s long-lead cycle only works for her. It’s an outdated system, one designed to promote albums over time through radio, print, and other media. The fact that it works for Swift is a testament to her star power, as well as how devoted her fans are. By extending her album release, Swift is able to spend months dominating the charts as new songs are released a few weeks apart, giving each single its own time to shine on the charts.
However, Swift’s most lucrative gig comes after the album release. Her tours bring in the bulk of her income. Swift’s first “Fearless” tour brought in roughly $75 million. As Swift’s popularity has increased, so has the cost of her concert tickets. The “1989 World Tour” in 2015 was the highest-grossing tour of the year. And in 2018, Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” tour broke records as the highest-grossing US stadium tour of all time. The record was previously held by The Rolling Stones, whose “A Bigger Bang Tour” from 2005 to 2007 grossed $245 million across 70 shows. Swift shattered their record with $345 million from just 38 shows. That’s a $9-million-per-show average.
Swift’s tour documentary with Netflix brought in an additional undisclosed paycheck rumored to be worth millions. Additionally, it’s been estimated that Swift makes $17 per ticket on merchandise sales. Swift’s fans, called Swifties, are definitely devoted to the singer. In preparation for Swift’s seventh album, fan accounts have even been posting strategies for maximizing sales numbers and stream counts.
As one of the most popular musicians of the era, Swift has had a complicated relationship with streaming. In 2014, Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify, citing unfair royalty payments. Similarly, Swift published an open letter to Apple Music in 2015 and stated that she would not be streaming her then upcoming album “1989” on the service because of royalty rates. Apple Music quickly modified its streaming revenue policy to be more fair to artists, and Swift allowed the service to stream “1989.”
As for Spotify, Taylor Swift rereleased her catalog on the service in June 2017. The exact conditions for Swift’s return to Spotify have never been released, but it may have to do with Spotify modifying its streaming policies a bit. Regardless, Swift’s new contract with Republic Records and Universal Music Group included a specific condition that requires the label to distribute any money made from selling its investments in Spotify with its artist roster.
That same contract will reportedly earn Swift anywhere from $100 to $200 million in guarantees. Taylor will also own all of her future master recordings. It’s rumored that Swift’s new contract stipulated that the Kardashians could no longer speak badly about her. Universal owns E!, which produces “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” so such a condition could be possible. Either way, Swift’s new contract will earn her quite the windfall.
As for how the star spends her millions … Swift’s famous for interacting with fans online and even hosting secret listening parties at her home. Over the years, Swift has donated to a number of her fans to cover everything from student loans to hospital fees. She’s also raised funds for various causes, including victims of Louisiana and Nashville floods, as well as victims of tornadoes in the southern United States. During Kesha’s legal battles, Swift donated $250,000 to help the fellow singer with legal fees. Most recently, she donated $113,000 to a pro-LGBTQ advocacy group, the Tennessee Equality Project.
Swift’s $84 million real-estate portfolio spans across four states. Her eight properties include a $29 million estate in Beverly Hills and a $20 million duplex penthouse in New York City. Swift’s NYC penthouse is located in Tribeca, Manhattan’s richest neighborhood. She reportedly renovated the apartment for $535,000. Swift also owns a four-story townhouse and a condo on the same street.
The singer made headlines when she purchased her Rhode Island mansion for $17 million in cash. The seaside estate was where Swift hosted her famous Fourth of July parties. Considering all the traveling the international performer must do, it’s no surprise that she owns a private jet. Swift’s customized jet reportedly cost $40 million and has the singer’s lucky number “13” painted on its nose. She’s also rumored to own a second jet that costs up to $58 million.
Taylor Swift also owns two Scottish Fold cats, which are one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world. Named Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey after the singer’s favorite TV show characters from “Law and Order” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” Taylor’s cats could have cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 each. Swift often shares photos and videos of her beloved pets online and even gave them a shout-out in her song “Gorgeous.”
♪ Guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats. ♪
Swift recently posted a picture of her cats as part of what fans believed to be clues about her upcoming album. This next chapter of Swift’s career could very easily see new records set and old ones shattered.