Taylor Swift's tour is not only rocking stadiums but also fuelling a hospitality surge. With the concerts predicted to generate $5 billion in consumer spending in the US alone, what kind of windfall can Europe expect?
Cinemas around the world are probably on the edge of their seats thinking about today’s sales. Is it the premiere of a new blockbuster?
Well… almost. The star of the highly-anticipated film is none other than US pop sensation Taylor Swift, showcasing her three-hour-long performance on stage for the record-grossing Eras Tour, directed by Sam Wrench.
The film’s debut promises to break records, much like Swift herself has been doing these past years, from her critically acclaimed album Midnights to the sales of her re-recordings.
Fans - or Swifties, to use proper pop culture lingo - are poised to flood theatres as quickly as the race to grab a ticket for the Eras Tour was cruel this summer.
The presales for seeing Swift on the big screen have already surpassed $100 million (€94 million) globally in advance ticket sales.
Due to this success, the film will even premiere a day earlier in the US and Canada, with showings of other blockbusters rescheduled to avoid clashing with it.
Such is the hold of Taylor Swift on popular culture.
It’s no wonder then how ‘Swiftonomics’ has managed to provide such a healthy financial boon to the US economy, and with her fame knowing no borders, it’s likely that European coffers will enjoy a similar boost.
Fed enchanted by US success
As she embarked on the US leg of her highly anticipated tour, Swift brought an unexpected windfall to the cities chosen to host concerts.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the hospitality sector that reaped most of the benefits.
The flood of revenue didn’t go unnoticed by the US Federal Reserve (Fed), which noted in a May report that Philadelphia experienced “the strongest month for hotel revenue … since the onset of the pandemic, in large part due to an influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts in the city”.
With that in mind, is it any wonder that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took it upon himself to push for tour dates in his own country?
Market research firm QuestionPro’s projection found that the Eras Tour could generate $5 billion in consumer spending in the US alone.
QuestionPro also highlighted that Swifties tend to be bigger spenders, with an average of €1,200 spent on concert tickets and other expenses. An average of just under 54,000 people attend each US concert too, so it soon adds up.
In addition to ticket sales, David Herlihy, a professor at Northeastern University, noted that Swift fans are always keen to fork out for merchandise and other paraphernalia.
Items that Swift promoted herself for her last album included no less than four different versions of the physical CDs or vinyls ($29.99 each), which form a clock when put together. A wooden support for the clock was also available for $49.
“It’s a weird intersection of emotion and capitalism,” said Herlihy.
A swift boost for the European economy?
If Swift's success has taken more time in Europe - especially in the likes of France, Italy and Spain - the pop artist is now a musical mainstay and has planned 48 tour dates on the old continent.
The speed at which the Eras Tour sold out in stadiums across Europe is proof that Swift has conquered the European market.
OTA Insight, a firm specialising in data intelligence for hospitality, has already predicted that European cities will probably receive the same economic windfall like the US cities before them.
For example, the demand for hotels in Stockholm on the dates of the concerts is already predicted to show a sharp peak.
“Some destinations are already experiencing high demand and prices are increasing accordingly,” OTA Insight said, despite the concerts being almost a year away.
An economic ‘Love Story’
While Taylor Swift’s economic impact is hard to miss, it’s worth noting that she’s not the first pop sensation to bring financial boons wherever she goes.
Another pop phenomenon, Beyoncé, had a comparable effect with her Renaissance Tour.
Danske Bank Chief Economist Michael Grahn told the Financial Times that hotel prices boomed wherever she went, describing her impact on the economy as "very rare".
“Beyoncé is responsible for the extra upside surprise this month. It’s quite astonishing for a single event. We haven’t seen this before,” Grahn said at the time.
The ‘Single Ladies’ singer is also releasing the film version of her performance.
Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce, hits theatres in December and is expected to bring in $75 million in ticket sales, according to Reuters.
The same phenomenon was also observed in the UK with record sales surges of up to 30% and local businesses seeing an increase in foot traffic, Global Edge noted.
As more and more artists gain in popularity, so too will their economic impact explode. It’s an evermore present global phenomenon, and it will be hard to shake it off.