Rolling Stones

Princeton University economist Alan Krueger has published an updated version of his 2004 and 2005 studies into the economics of live music, revealing that the biggest acts still hog a big share of live revenues. He tells Wired that between February and June this year, the top 1% of music artists generated 56.3% of concert revenues – a percentage that’s risen slightly from the 56% they accounted for in 2003. “These numbers bounce around from year to year, but I see no evidence that it has become less of a superstar economy since I last published on it,” says Krueger. “I thought the fact that prices for the top acts had continued to grow very quickly supported the idea that inequality hadn’t fallen.” Krueger’s report is based on data from live industry publication Pollstar, which is already provoking questions about the accuracy of its data for smaller venues.

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