Courtesy of Guardian News...
It’s amazing the amount of money you can make by pressing play...
That might be reductive, but that’s the lesson to be learned from Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s best paid people in music.
Slowly live music is being replaced in lounges and clubs world-wide. Instead of a 3 or 4 piece band, we've got DJ's. These guys and gals are waltzing into clubs with laptops instead of guitars, basses and drums. The infrastructure is already in the clubs ready to go and the clubs love DJ's. Less gear, less demands and less hassle after-show. Just fold-up that laptop and walk out!
The Forbes list, is billed as the “Music Cash Kings”, and shows Calvin Harris topping the list for the third successive year, despite his earnings dropping from $66m (£50.8m) to $63m. The key driver of earnings at the top of the DJing trade, (as Forbes notes), is the availability of lucrative residences in Las Vegas, where DJs can earn six-figure sums per set.
The magazine says Harris is paid more than $400,000 for each of his Vegas appearances. Sounds unbelievable doesn't it. A guy with no musical training, who cannot play a single instrument yet is classified as a musician and earns more than some of the best musicians on the planet. His earnings are also boosted by his lucrative product endorsements, which make up a substantial side to his take home pay.
At No 2 is the Dutch DJ Tiësto, who earned an estimated $38m, with his 7 Up deal contributing to his income. David Guetta, (who has a residency deal with the clubs owned by Vegas magnate Steve Wynn), netted $28m to finish in third.
Forbes notes that the total earnings of the top 10 DJs have decreased by 1% from last year, for a total of $270.5m, the first year since it compiled the list in 2012 that the total earnings have fallen. The fifth-placed DJ, Steve Aoki, told Forbes: “The bubble has already burst in America. You can see it in Vegas’s DJ landscape.”
Forbes’s figures included not just DJing fees, but earnings from live shows, merchandise, endorsements, recorded music and outside business ventures, and covered the period from June 2015 to June 2016.
The full top 10 is:
1 Calvin Harris – $63m
2 Tiësto – $38m
3 David Guetta – $28m
4 Zedd – $24.5m
5 Steve Aoki – $23.5m
6 Diplo – $23m
7 Skrillex – $20m
8 Kaskade – $19m
9 Martin Garrix – $16m
10 Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike – $15.5m