Taylor Swift’s net worth: $360 million
Taylor Swift’s huge net worth is the result of 13 years of hard work. She started out as a country musician when she was 16, and three years later she was the top selling artist in the U.S. Then she took a gamble and switched to pop. It payed off and she became a bigger star with a bigger paycheck.
Last year alone, Taylor earned $185 million (pre-tax), mostly thanks to her tour Reputation. Two years before she made $170 million, becoming, on both occasions, the highest-earning celebrity of the year, according to Forbes.
So, to put things in perspective: in average, Taylor Swift made $15 million a month, $513,000 a day, $21,400 an hour, in 2018. Which is 356 dollars every minute. Unless you are billionaire Jeff Bezzos that is certainly aspirational.
While most of Taylor’s money comes from touring, she also pockets sizable sums from endorsements, merchandise, record deals, and the streaming of her music.
And when it comes to spending her well-earned dollars, Taylor Swift has an eye for the good life. She owns beautiful homes, air planes, and likes to treat herself by dining in elegant restaurants. And she does not only pamper herself either, for the generous singer is known for her contribution to charitable causes.
Work it: How Taylor Swift makes her money
Tours brings in the big bucks
Her five world tours have contributed the most to her $360 million net worth:
The Fearless Tour (2009-2010) grossed $63.7 million
The Speak Now World Tour (2011-2012), $123 million
The Red Tour (2013-2014), $150.2 million
The 1989 World Tour (2015), $250 million
The Reputation Stadium Tour (2018), $345 million
As you can see, Taylor Swift has been a busy bee, touring every year from 2009 to 2015. Then she took a break and toured again in 2018.
Her newest tour, Reputation, broke the record for highest grossing domestic tour in the U.S. when it earned $266 million. The previous record holders were the Rolling Stones, who made $245 millions with their Bigger Bang Tour from 2005 to 2007.
During the Reputation tour she played 53 stadiums in 4 continents. And worldwide the tour earned $345 million, which means that, in average, each show grossed the impressive sum of 6,5 million dollars. Certainly, only a fraction of that goes into Taylor’s own pocket, but she does personally earn at least $1 million per show.
Merchandise: Taylor everywhere
Taylor has an online store for her merchandise. There you can find 65-dollar sweatshirts, purses, iPhone skins, shirts, 30-dollar rings, key chains, you name it. And all the merch has Taylor-inspired patterns. For example, she is now promoting her album Lover, so the rings are heart-shaped, the shirts sport the album’s cover, and the phone skins say ‘Lover‘ over a glittery background.
But the business savvy singer does not only sell it online. In every concert there are outlets were fans can buy the official merchandise. A little bit like going to Disney World, entering an attraction like Pirates of the Caribbean and finding that you exit the ride inside a store full of Pirates of the Caribbean’s merch. In the excitement someone is sure to buy at least a pirate mug. Taylor has learnt from Disney. And Billboard estimates that she sells $17 of merchandise per ticket at every show. So when she plays a 50,000-seat arena, she makes $850,000 in merch sales. Not bad.
Adding to her net worth one endorsement at a time
She also endorses other brands. In 2013 she signed a contract with Diet Coke. Reportedly, she made $26 million with the 5-year deal. On top of appearing in their ads, the singer released unique content, like behind-the scenes takes from her tours, that could only be accessed through Diet Coke’s social media.
During her career she has worked with more than 30 brands, including Cover Girl, AirAsia, AT&T, Keds, Capitol One, UPS, Toyota, Target, and Verizon. From 2010 to 2012 she promoted the Cyber-shot cameras from Sony, in 2014 she was chosen as New York City’s tourism ambassador, and in 2015, just months after she and Apple had a little bit of a confrontation about royalties, Apple Music named her their ambassador. The move proved a wise one: after partnering with Taylor, Apple gained 6.5 million new payed subscribers.
And in 2019 she launched merchandise designed by Stella McCartney.
Those deals are very healthy for Taylor’s net worth. By 2016 she had earned $111 million in endorsements.
Every celebrity has to have theirs. Taylor has 5: Wonderstruck (2011), Wonderstruck Enchanted (2012), Taylor by Taylor Swift (2013), Made of Starlight (2014), Incredible things (2014).
She knows how to negotiate a record deal
When Taylor was 16 she signed a 13-year contract with Big Machine Label Group. Her contract expired last year, 2018, and she did not renew it since the company was about to be sold. The buyer ended up being Scooter Braun, the talent manager that represents Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. But with whom Taylor does not have a cozy relationship with. So the master tapes of her last 6 albums now belong to Braun, a fact that upset Taylor.
But learning from that oversight, she negotiated a better contract this time with her new label, Universal Music Group. She will own all her future master tapes, and therefore all the rights to her songs. Plus, insiders believe Taylor singed with Universal for $100 to $200 million.
Streaming and royalties
Streaming services like Spotify are fantastic for the public which gets to listen to free music, but some musicians think it is not so great for them, since they get about $0.00437 each time one of their songs is streamed. In 2014 Taylor Swift asked Spotify to pay the musicians more, when Spotify declined because that was not their business model, the singer pulled her music from the platform.
The following year she asked Apple Music not to ask the artists to give away their music for free for 3 months, which is something Apple was contemplating. Apple speedily dropped the idea. A few months later they asked Taylor to be the face of Apple Music.
Evolution of her net worth
2006: $8.5 million. When she was 17 years old.
2007: $16 million
2009: $57 million
2010: $70 million
2011: $120 million
2013: $200 million
2015: $290 million
2019: $360 million
Spend it like Taylor
Houses: more is better
The singer has a soft spot for real estate. She has sold some of the smaller properties she bought early on in her career, but she keeps 7. The combined worth of those 7 is $93 million.
1) Nashville pad (3,240 ft2): When the pop star was 19 she bought a $2 million apartment in Nashville’s fanciest glass building. Which rises in the Music Row district, where all the labels and recording studios are located.
2) Nashville house (5,600 ft2). Two years later she bought a second home in Nashville, this time in the suburbs for peace and quiet. The $2.85 million house has 4 bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms, a pool, and a 2,000 ft2 guest house.
3) Rhode Island house (12,000 ft2). Possibly her most famous property given that she has thrown parties there since she bought it in 2013. That year Taylor was dating one of the Kennedys and his family has houses in the area. The relationship with Kennedy did not last, but the singer fell in love with the neighborhood and bought this ocean-front house for $17.75 million. It is her largest house. It has 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms and sits on 5 acres of land.
4) Beverly Hills house (10,982 ft2). She bought it when she was 25. And at $25 million it is the most expensive of her properties. Film producer Samuel Goldwyn built it in 1934. It has 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a tennis court, and guest houses. Taylor wants to turn it into a historic landmark and already received the approval of the Beverly Hills Cultural Heritage Commission.
5) New York penthouse (8,309 ft2). She bought two adjacent penthouses in 2014 in Tribeca and joined them. Now she has 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, and the duplex is worth some $20 million.
6) New York townhouse (5,148 ft2). Right next to her duplex is this three-story townhouse that Taylor bought in 2017 for $18 million. It has heated floors, a bar, gym, home theater, and an apartment for guests.
7) New York apartment (3,540 ft2). In 2018 she bought another apartment in the same building where she has her duplex. She purchased it for $9.75 million.
Her three NY properties have been joined. The first floor of the townhouse was converted to a garage, so now the singer can swiftly come in and out of her compound without being photographed by the media while walking to her car.
Private planes to get from A to B
The singer travels a lot for work, so it is not surprising that she has a private plane. It is thought to be a Dassault-Breguet Mystere Falcon 900 which she would have bought in 2011, probably for some $40 million dollars. It has 12 seats. She is rumored to have a second plane similar to the first one.
Aside from using them for work engagements, Taylor is known to take vacation breaks around the world. And the plane probably comes in handy now that she has a long-term relationship with actor Joe Alwyn who lives in England -she lives in the U.S.
The singer is known for her generosity. Swift donated $1 million dollars during the Louisiana floods, $500,000 for the Nashville ones, and raised $750,000 for tornado victims in 2011. She supports education and the arts as well: she gave $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony some time back and has pledged $4 million for an education center of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
But many of her donations remain unknown. For example in 2018 a fan disclosed that the singer had quietly bought her a house in 2015. Taylor’s fan was pregnant and homeless, when the singer found out, she bought her a home and all the baby stuff.
Taylor’s beginnings in music and business
Taylor is very close to her parents, who have helped her and supported her throughout her career. Her mom toured with her, and one of her parents was always present at her concerts until a few years ago.
Taylor inherits her business savvy from her dad: Scott Swift is an investment adviser for Merill Lynch and descends from three generations of bank presidents. While her mom is a former marketing executive who helped Taylor with her early branding.
Taylor was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on December 13, 1989. The Swifts moved to a Christmas tree farm, where Taylor grew up singing and writing songs. By 10 she wanted to be a country singer. Her mom supported her by driving her to Nashville one Spring Break. Taylor literally knocked on music executives doors and delivered her demos. She would say, “Hi, I’m Taylor. I’m 11. I want a record deal. Call me.” When that did not work, she realized she had to stand out.
She took guitar and singing lessons, and at 12 wrote her first song. On the weekends she sang at any gig that would have her: fairs, karaokes. Then, after watching a documentary on her idol Faith Hill, she realized she had to live in Nashville. At 14 she got signed by Sony, so her dad transferred to the Merill Lynch office in Tennessee and the family moved there, to a large lake-front house. But her parents never said they had moved for her, so she would not feel any pressure.
Taylor left Sony, and at 16 signed with a label that had just opened, Big Machine Records. Taylor’s dad invested $120,000 in the new company. In October 2006, Taylor released her debut album called Taylor Swift and her career took off.
Taylor Swift has won 10 Grammys; 23 American Music Awards, breaking Whitney Houston’s record; 23 Billboard Music Awards, which is a female record; 26 Teen Choice Awards, the most by any solo artist; 9 Academy Country Music Awards; 20 Billboard Music Awards; 10 iHeart Music Awards; 10 MTV Video Music Awards; 11 People Choice Awards; and the list goes on. In total she has won 294 awards.
She has also broken 7 Guinness World Records, been listed as one of the most influential people by Time twice, in 2015 and 2019; and been named Billboard Woman of the Year in 2014.