Life,  Wealth

Taylor’s Singapore Takeover: How One Concert Boosted a Nation’s Economy

Singapore has been buzzing with people recently, and the whole island is immersed in a frenzy.

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Po County from all over the world to listen to one person’s concert. She is the world’s top American music queen Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift, nicknamed Swift in Chinese).

On March 2, Taylor’s The Eras Tour (“Era Tour”)-Singapore Station officially started. From March 2nd to 9th, she held six consecutive concerts at the Singapore National Stadium, each of which can accommodate 55,000 spectators.

Taylor started singing in Singapore and attracted more than 300,000 fans from Singapore and other countries around the world, which is equivalent to 5.3% of Singapore’s total population.

Tickets for Taylor’s concert in Singapore are also hard to get. According to reports, 22 million people were grabbing tickets before, and on average only every 80 people could get one. The price of tickets for Taylor’s Singapore concert has reached as high as SGD 3,000 per ticket, and scalpers have even raised the price to SGD 50,000 per ticket.

For this concert, not only the fans went crazy, but the Singapore government also worked hard.

According to reports, the Singapore government provides Taylor with huge subsidies of up to US$2 million to US$3 million for each performance. But for Singapore, this is a very cost-effective investment, and it can be said to be a huge win.

According to Channel News Asia in Singapore, Taylor’s tour will bring SGD 500 million (approximately RMB 2.67 billion) in tourism revenue to Singapore. Industry insiders in the country’s tourism industry revealed that from March 1st to 9th, the price of flights to Singapore almost tripled, and the number of bookings at various tourist attractions also increased 23 times compared with usual.

This has made other countries in Southeast Asia very jealous; some countries have even publicly accused Singapore of being a “lonely food”.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Saitha Thakur recently broke the news at a public event in Bangkok, saying, “The Singaporean government is very smart and they told (organizers) not to hold any other shows in Southeast Asia.”

Singapore is the only Southeast Asian country that Taylor visited on this “Era Tour”. Saita revealed that Singapore invested heavily in exchange for Taylor’s sole performance rights in Southeast Asia.

A Philippine congressman publicly accused Singapore of doing so “at the expense of neighboring countries.” He said, “If this (exclusive agreement) is true, then this is not something a ‘good neighbor’ can do.” The congressman even asked the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs to file a “formal objection” to the Singaporean government.

Faced with accusations from neighboring countries, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong personally responded on March 5. “It’s a successful arrangement. I don’t think it’s unkind,” he said. “Sometimes one country negotiates the deal, and sometimes it’s another country. We don’t just say, ‘You can perform here.’ On condition that you go on to perform somewhere else’.”

A group of Southeast Asian countries have engaged in a war of words over the right to host a star’s concert. Of course, this may only be limited to world-class superstars like Taylor.

Since its opening, Taylor’s “Journey of the Times” has become more than just a music festival, it is more like a walking money printing machine that can benefit a country’s economy every minute.

“Taylor Economics” takes the world by storm

The “Times Tour” is Taylor’s first global tour in five years, starting in March 2023 and lasting until the end of 2024. This tour is called “a journey throughout the music career” and covers all 10 studio albums of Taylor in the past 17 years, with a total of 44 songs; it spans five continents (North America, South America, Asia, Oceania, Europe) and many countries. The number of performances worldwide will reach 151.

The “Times Tour” first started in Glendale, United States, and a total of 52 performances were held in 20 cities in the United States. Wherever Taylor went, hotels were full, peripheral merchandise was sold out, bars were crowded, and consumption data were strong.

Taking Philadelphia as an example, the Federal Reserve Bank (one of the 12 banks of the Federal Reserve) mentioned in the “Beige Book” that “despite the slowdown in the overall recovery of the tourism industry, May was the strongest revenue for the Philadelphia hotel industry since the epidemic. month, largely due to the influx of Taylor Swift concert fans.”

By last June, Taylor had three shows in Chicago, and the city’s lodging prices were up 3.1%, occupancy was up 8.1%, and RVP per available room was up 59%.

At the end of June and the beginning of July, in small cities like Cincinnati, Taylor’s concerts also raised the occupancy rate of hotels in the city center to 98%, and hotel industry revenue doubled year-on-year.

In August in Los Angeles, Taylor’s five concerts brought 3,300 new jobs to the catering, retail, and security industries, driving economic benefits of US$320 million.

QuestionPro estimates that each city Taylor visits will bring economic effects ranging from US$46 million to US$140 million to the local tourism, catering, hotel and other industries, and will drive a total of US$5 billion in consumer spending in the United States.

The U.S. Travel Association’s report was more optimistic. They believe that if the upstream and downstream industries of the tour and fans’ online consumption are included, the total economic impact of Taylor’s global tour may exceed 10 billion US dollars.

It’s no wonder that some people joke that there are only two pillars of the U.S. economy now, one is NVIDIA and the other is Taylor Swift.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that when Taylor Swift comes to town, her fans will go crazy on their spending. This is called “Taylor Economics.”

At present, the effect of “Taylor Economics” can also span time and space and surge around the world. Entering 2024, The Eras Tour came to Japan, setting off another Taylor craze.

From February 7th to 10th, “Journey of the Times” held a total of four performances at the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome. It was also difficult to get a ticket before, and the most expensive VIP1 ticket in the infield was priced at 122,800 yen, which is approximately equivalent to RMB 5,900.

According to a lecturer at Tokyo City University, Taylor’s tour will generate 34.1 billion yen (approximately 1.659 billion yuan) in revenue, making it the largest music event in Japan’s history.

After Japan, Australia quickly received the good fortune brought by Taylor. From February 16th to 26th, Taylor performed three and four shows in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.

Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp revealed that the city’s large-scale events throughout the year usually have an economic value of about 3.3 billion Australian dollars, and Taylor will contribute 1/3 in one weekend. According to data from Destination NSW, Taylor is expected to bring a net income of AU$133 million to Sydney, accounting for nearly 30% of its major event tourism income in 2024.

Understanding the wealth-generating ability of Taylor’s concerts, it is not difficult to understand why Southeast Asian countries are engaged in a war of words over it. In fact, not only in Southeast Asia, leaders of other countries have also worked hard to win the right to host Taylor’s Time Tour.

For example, Chilean President Gabriel Boric is a huge fan of Taylor. It’s a pity that Chile did not appear on the “Time Journey” itinerary. So the young president born in the 1980s wrote a letter directly to Taylor, expressing his hope that she could go to Chile to hold a concert.

Canada is not on the Time Tour itinerary either. President Justin Trudeau personally tweeted a message to Taylor. He said, “You are welcome to come to many places in Canada, so don’t let us experience another ‘cruel summer’. We hope to see you soon.” “Cruel Summer” is also one of Taylor’s masterpieces.

Taylor why?

Not only did Taylor single-handedly boost the economies of many places, she also made a lot of money personally.

According to Pollstar statistics, the Taylor Era Tour is the first concert in history to exceed the US$1 billion mark in revenue; breaking the record of US$939 million set by legendary British singer Elton John in 2023.

Pollstar’s statistical time period is from November 2022 to November 2023. They predict that Taylor’s tour revenue will reach $1 billion again in 2024. In other words, her “Times Tour” tour may gross more than $2 billion.

In contrast, Pollstar is still conservative. Peter Cohan, associate professor of management at Babson College, estimates that Taylor will earn $4.1 billion from her “Times Tour” tour, which is expected to become the most profitable single tour by an artist in history.

Taylor’s income from this tour mainly comes from ticket sales, peripheral sales and the box office of the tour’s movie of the same name.

Generally speaking, the reason why Taylor’s global tour has become a “walking money printing machine” is mainly because of her large number of fans and their willingness to spend money on her.

Taylor is one of the most famous pop stars on the planet, with 280 million followers on the social media platform Instagram and more than 450 million followers worldwide.

In 1989, Taylor was born on a Christmas tree farm in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, USA. At the age of 14, Taylor began her professional music career.

Three years later, Taylor released her first music album “Taylor Swift”, which was certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). According to RIAA standards, a platinum album must sell 1 million copies. The debut album was an instant hit and established Taylor’s position in the music world.

Taylor is not only an excellent singer, but also talented in writing lyrics and music. Since her debut, she has cheated all the way. She is not only very productive, but also has a soft hand in winning awards.

To date, Taylor has released a total of 243 songs and won 14 Grammy Awards, 40 American Music Awards, 39 Billboard Music Awards and 23 VMAs (MTV Music Television Awards).

To date, Taylor holds multiple Guinness World Records. For example, she is the only living artist in the world to have 10 albums listed on the US Billboard Hot 200 chart at the same time; she is the first musician in history to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year four times, etc.

Although he debuted in country music, Taylor expanded new themes and elements to country music. Many of her songs are about herself, including her experiences at school, the throbs of love in adolescence, and the teenage dreams of Romeo and Juliet.

Be brave to be yourself, love yourself, be confident and ambitious, self-disciplined and able to endure hardships. These are the positive and uplifting spirits that Taylor conveys through music.

Listeners find resonance and power in Taylor’s music. Coupled with Taylor’s personal struggle story and her sweet image, these have attracted a large number of fans of all ages around the world. Especially the young people of the Millennial generation, who pay more attention to self-feeling and growth, Taylor’s songs just fit their spiritual needs.

Of course, Taylor is also very business-minded. Unlike most musicians who put their works on streaming platforms for free, cultivating fans first and then monetizing them, Taylor does not allow his music to appear on streaming platforms for free. Instead, he chooses to sell records first and then to streaming media. Then there will be a concert. Use fees to select hardcore fans, and then drive more fans to contribute wallets. According to the latest report from Forbes, Taylor’s net worth is approximately $1.1 billion.

Taylor ranked fifth in the 2023 list of the world’s 100 most powerful women released by Forbes. Joining her in the TOP5 are European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, and others. Xu Ran, the current CEO of JD.com, ranks 20th on the list.

On December 6, 2023, Taylor beat out the popular OpenAI founder Sam Altman and was named the 2023 Person of the Year by the US “Time” magazine (TIME) and appeared on the cover of the magazine. She is also the first artist in the history of Time magazine to win this title.

Time magazine called Taylor a “global phenomenon.” The magazine commented, “While her popularity has grown over the past dozen years, this year, 33-year-old Swift achieved a kind of nuclear fusion: combining art and commerce to unleash historic energy. ”

Crazy concert economy

The continued popularity of Taylor’s “Era Tour” is a microcosm of the global concert economic blowout.

According to statistics from Pollstar, a global performance market box office data service and media company, the total box office of the global TOP100 tours will increase by 46% from US$6.28 billion in 2022 to US$9.17 billion in 2023. The average box office per game soared from US$1.54 million to US$2.37 million, an increase of 53.2%.

In China, the performance market in 2023 is also very hot. Data from the China Performance Industry Association as of late November 2023 show that the number of commercial performances nationwide in 2023 will reach 342,400, a year-on-year increase of 278.76%; performance box office revenue is 31.541 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 453.74%. In the first three quarters of 2023, there were a total of 111 million spectators, of which 60 million were concert spectators, both exceeding the level for the whole of 2019.

2023 is called a super year for celebrity concerts. The grand occasion of “one concert sets a city on fire” will happen frequently in 2023.

The “TFBOYS Ten Years’ Date Concert” became popular in Xi’an and directly brought tourism revenue of 416 million yuan to the local area.

Jay Chou’s 2023 Carnival World Tour Concert in Haikou attracted a total of 154,600 tourists in four days, bringing 976 million yuan in tourism revenue to the local area.

Mayday held a concert in Beijing, and the number of accommodation reservations in Beijing surged by approximately 300% compared to the same period in 2019.

Judging from these hard-to-get concerts, people in the post-epidemic era, especially young people, seem to prefer attending concerts and are eager to get back the “lost three years”.

The HSBC report shows that this mentality is a general trend around the world. Their analysts believe that the epidemic has “put a permanent mark” on global consumer activities. Today’s consumers pay more attention to “experience” than before, and the focus of consumption is rapidly shifting from goods to services.

After the epidemic, many places, including many cities in China, have noticed this change in consumption trends and have encouraged service-oriented consumption such as tourism and performances to stimulate economic recovery.

Singapore is one of the more positive. In addition to Taylor, they have also invited Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, etc. to hold concerts in Singapore. They are using concerts as a new growth driver.

Economists at HSBC mentioned in a report that large-scale global music events are a boon to Singapore’s tourism-related services, and the output value of these service industries can account for 10% of Singapore’s GDP.

It is not difficult to understand why Singapore is willing to spend huge sums of money to obtain Taylor’s exclusive performance rights.

For a “business wizard” like Taylor, in addition to talent and hard work, the current situation is equally important behind success. Facts have proved that she once again grasped the trend of the times.

Since 2009, Taylor has held a total of six global tours. The “Era Tour” is the one with the most performances and the highest income. The income scale exceeds the income of the previous five years combined.

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