Guns N’ Roses Are Finding New Ways to Make the Industry Work for Them

21st April 2017 No comments

Now that streaming has become the dominant platform through which most fans consume their music, artists have been left scrambling for new ways to make money. With a mix of time-tested methods and new licensing deals, some of the biggest bands have found a way to remain successful. Some of these practices are obvious but are even more lucrative than you may think, while others are new experiments that could very well become the norm.
When it comes to musicians making money outside of their actual records, the first thing most people tend to think of is touring. Touring has long been the main revenue source for musicians, and that’s just as true today as it ever was. In fact, touring is actually bigger than it’s ever been. It was reported that the top 10 tours saw an 11.3 percent increase over 2015’s numbers ($1.67 billion in 2016 compared to the year before). That’s not chump change and could hopefully represent a larger industry shift in the popularity of live music.


A big part of this was the success of Guns N’ Roses’ Not In This Lifetime Tour. It brought in an incredible $188.4 million and was one of the top five concert series of the year. The tour began in April 2016 and continues on through the end of this summer. Although it didn’t feature the entire classic GNR line-up, it has enough of the original band to be worth the price of admission for most fans. Axl Rose and Slash are naturally both on stage, and they’ve brought longtime guitarist Duff McKagan back to help round out the band. GNR were ranked number one on the Hot Tour list by Billboard and if one thing has been impressive, it’s the sheer amount of shows they’ve played. As of this writing, the band has put on more than 60 performances around the world—and they 37 more planned by the end of 2017.

Thanks to the success of the tour, GNR has seen a huge boost in its popularity with both new and old fans packing out the stadiums for the chance to see the band. The act is more popular than it’s been in years, and this has also helped to open up new options for them to make more money.
In addition to standbys like touring and merch, bands are finding new ways to make ends meet in the modern age. One example is the use of the digital space through new licensing agreements. A particularly innovative way they’re doing this is by getting into the video game industry. The online gaming market is huge, with a massive audience that’s also perfect for bands. The incorporation of live music into slot soundtracks has been called the number-one most innovative feature in casino games and licensed songs from the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Jimi Hendrix go a long way to improving the experience for players. As these bands help to set a precedent for licensed music in casual games, it wouldn’t be surprising to see other acts also follow suit.
In a time when it’s harder than ever for most artists to make a career out of making music, it’s almost comforting to see that some things never change as new avenues present themselves. As the digital presences of bands continue to grow online thanks to streaming, gaming, and other platforms, fans are wanting to see their favorite bands live more than ever before. It will be interesting to see if this symbiotic relationship will continue and it’s definitely a trend to watch out for down the line.

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