For One Direction fans looking for a math theme involving Louis Tomlinson, stay tuned.
Louis Tomlinson has been taking time off from touring by hanging out in London — but he’s got a good reason to celebrate. Billboard Magazine named Louis Tomlinson and the rest of One Direction as the top-earning musicians of 2014 — but is this calculation accurate?
The announcement at the first of May shows Louis Tomlinson outranking other lead pop singers such as Drake ($10 million) and Justin Timberlake ($27.9 million). Regardless, the way these figures were estimated show that Louis Tomlinson may not be as high up as Billboard wants you to believe, but they are doing a better job of showing their work for this math problem than the elusive figures listed by Forbes.
Billboard breaks down the earnings of Louis Tomlinson and One Direction by streams of income. They estimate $4.1 million in sales, $682,200 in streaming royalties, $517,000 in publishing, and a whopping $40.7 million in touring income. The grand total revenue for Louis Tomlinson and One Direction in 2014 was $46 million.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the second-ranking on Billboard’s list was Katy Perry at $30.1 million — and she did that by herself. As we all know, One Direction band members get an extra cut for writing songs — and Louis Tomlinson definitely writes a lot of their songs.
Metro stated in early March, “Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne might not have the girls falling all over them like bandmate Harry Styles does but they certainly have the biggest wallets. The boys are One Direction’s biggest earners thanks to their songwriting skills. They’re bound to be raking in far more… because writers usually get around 9% of royalties for each song.”
Despite this, if we took the $46 million figure that all five One Direction members grossed as a team, that means Louis Tomlinson ended up with about $7.6 million. On Billboard’s list, another famed singer making about $8 million is Rihanna.
To make another comparison, Louis Tomlinson is, as an individual, earning about $8 million, at the bottom of the Billboard 2014 top-earners list. At the very bottom of this list is Tom Petty at number 40 with $6.7 million.
Metro also highlighted that One Direction’s “last total worth was estimated at £100 million.” To clarify, in 2012 (just two years after One Direction formed), Louis Tomlinson and the gents made £100 million and an extra £200 million for their record label, according to the Daily Mail.
Obviously, One Direction band members like Louis Tomlinson only get a cut of what they earn as a band. But how much did they actually take home in pay after taxes, manager fees, etc.? How much money does Louis Tomlinson have in the bank right now?
When someone researches a celebrity’s final income, they choose certain figures for their math equation and that is called “methodology.” If someone does not state their methodology with their grand totals, no one can understand how they did their math.
For example, in August of 2013, Business Insider predicted that One Direction and Louis Tomlinson would reach $1 billion in revenue in 2014. They listed all the different forms of revenue that the guys earn and used that to clearly state their case.
On the other hand, One Direction was listed as number 28 on a list of Forbes top celebrity earners. Sadly, Forbes does not appear to state their methodology for how they figured Louis Tomlinson and One Direction made $75 million in 2014.
Forbes does list a vague notion of how they estimate a business billionaire’s wealth — but a musician’s wealth would be tabulated with different ideas in mind. Alternatively, Billboard does their math with sales, streaming, publishing, and touring. They also state clearly what kind of deductions they made and state the following.
“The following royalty rates, minus a 4 percent producer’s fee, were used: album and track sales, 22 percent of retail revenue; streaming revenue, 22 percent for current acts and 50 percent for heritage acts… A 10 percent manager’s fee was deducted from each category.”
What is the takeaway here besides the fact that One Direction is one of the richest bands of all times? For Louis Tomlinson fans who want to write an essay about their favorite star, this means that Billboard provides the best statistics for One Direction being the richest musicians in 2014 because Forbes does not show fans how they did their homework.
On a completely biased note, it is also nice to see Louis Tomlinson and One Direction as Billboard’s number one — instead of Forbes’ possible sloppy math that ranks them at number 28.
[Feature image via Getty Images]