Concert Revenue Up 11 Percent in 2011

Concert Revenue Up 11 Percent in 2011
This week, we already learned that album sales are up in 2011, marking the first rise since 2004. Well, we have some more good news for the music industry: concert revenue is up 11 percent in the first half of this year.

This news comes from Pollstar [via Los Angeles Times]. The organization tallied the figure by looking at the earnings of the top 50 grossing tours worldwide. Those 50 tours earned $1.65 billion U.S. The North American industry was especially strong, as earnings rose by 16.2 precent.

Curiously, overall ticket sales were actually down 2.1 percent, to 19.4 million. This means that people bought fewer ticket but paid more for them. The average ticket price went up by 13.6 percent, or $10.23.

Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni speculated, "It's possible that much of this is driven by artists playing smaller venues at higher prices or better artist packaging, which increases show costs but offers fans a better value for their ticket dollar."

So which artists drove this rise in revenue? Unsurprisingly, U2 led the way with $164 million. They were followed by Roger Waters ($97.9 million), Bon Jovi ($921 million), Lady Gaga ($65.3 million) and Usher ($62.2 million).

U2's massive 360 Tour is finally coming to end later this month, so hopefully the industry can stay strong without its biggest earner out on the road.