Welcome to Swift’s Billionaire Era

Taylor Swift’s Financial Ingenuity
Swift admires the over 70,000 Swifties cheering her on at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California, following her opening performance of Cruel Summer  at the Eras Tour.
Swift admires the over 70,000 Swifties cheering her on at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California, following her opening performance of “Cruel Summer” at the Eras Tour.
Yina Shate

Taylor Swift: you either love her, or pretend to hate her because you are embarrassed that you secretly belt her songs when no one else is around.

Now more than ever, people have been fixated on her most recent tour, The Eras Tour, as well as her relationship with NFL football star Travis Kelce. According to Bloomberg Economics, her Eras Tour has added a towering $4.3 billion to the U.S. domestic product so far. Side note, read to the end for a colorful synopsis of the Eras Tour movie. 

Swift’s ingenious marketing has built her this overwhelming success of a name and worth. A testament to her successful marketing is the fact that as of October 26, 2023, Swift has achieved a net worth of $1.1 billion, making her one of only four musicians to ever achieve that economic status, according to a Bloomberg Wealth Report. So, let’s take a look at how exactly she achieved this. 

Starting off early, Swift released her debut country album at age sixteen. Since then, her nine other studio

 albums and four re-recordings have won her twelve Grammy awards and countless others. Her music quickly became her main and most stable source of income.

In the fall of 2018, Swift left her old record label to join Republic Records after negotiating to own the master rights (the ownership/control of the original recording of a song or album) to all her music going forward. She isn’t the first to do so, but one of the select musicians like Rihanna, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, and other names to recognize the importance and profitability of owning their own masters (as it is most common for recording labels/companies to own master rights).


In addition to being a generational talent, Taylor Swift is a great economist.

— Carolyn Sloane, a labor economist at the University of Chicago


Between 2020 and 2022, the shares from re-recording of two of her initial six albums, helped rank her ninth place on Forbes’s 2022 list of top ten highest-paid entertainers. These six albums were sold without her consent to a private equity firm by her former record label, and so she embarked on the journey of re-recording them so she could own them herself. 


Swift recognized in an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers that “it’s not normal” for artists to be re-recording their music. However, she pointed out that “most of [our] favorite artists do not own their work.” For that reason, it is exciting for her when an album bears the label, “Taylor’s Version” in parentheses, as it signifies Swift’s ownership. These re-recorded albums also go beyond mere replication of her old music. Swift adds “Vault Tracks” (previously written but unreleased songs) to these re-recorded albums, which enrich the album and resonate strongly with her fans, providing a fresh addition to the largely familiar original album tracks.


Not only is she “reclaiming her old work,” but also giving “younger listeners” a chance to “experience the older eras, listen to the albums on release day, and get excited for new songs,” Mia Gover (‘25) expressed. She further commented on how Swift is “setting a really good precedent [of owning masters] both for people in the music industry and beyond.”


Swift dressed up in costumes from all her eras in an advertisement with Capital One, shown right before the start of the Eras Tour movie in theaters. (Yina Shate)

Producing and performing music occupy the main chunk of Swift’s income, but she also boasts a real estate portfolio worth way upward of $80 million. She owns an array including beachfront mansions, a property in Tribeca, Tennessee, Rhode Island, New York CIty, as well as California. Adding to her net worth, Swift has strategically done endorsements with big brands like Coca-Cola, CoverGirl, Keds, AT&T, Apple, Sony Electronics, and Target. One of her most recent advertisements done with Capital One was even fittingly shown before the Taylor Swift: The Eras Movie played in theaters. Mia Gover (‘25) remarked on how “fun [it was] to see the Taylor-themed ads in the preview, especially the trailer that played Out of the Woods (Taylor’s Version) in it because at the time it was an unreleased song.”


Speaking of movies and films Swift has produced, the last supplement to the actual music of Swift are the extra sources of entertainment and inside looks she gives fans. Reputation Stadium Tour 2018, Miss Americana 2020 , the special album Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions with Disney Plus, and finally Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour are all movies Swift has worked on that help promote her studio albums and name. She independently produced the Eras Tour film for approximately $15 million, saving her money by not enlisting a Hollywood studio in the film’s marketing and distribution. Instead, she made a direct deal with AMC Entertainment, giving her 57 percent of the total ticket revenue, as reported by The New York Times.


Now, let’s take a look at what a fifteen million dollar concert film looks like. 


The Eras Tour movie provides one example of a multitude of brilliant economic moves masterminded by Swift and her team. The concert film provided fans an alternative to attending her actual concerts; this allowed thousands of fans like Eleanor Meyer (‘26) to “still experience the magic from her Eras Tour” without sacrificing time and money. Swift figured out a way to appeal to fans of all ages, circumstances, and connect people through storytelling in her songs.

This is how she became a billionaire. 

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