Although Michael Jackson has raked in nine figures yearly eight times since he passed in 2009, there was a significant drop in the late pop star’s earnings from 2018 to 2019 — from $400 million pretax to just $60 million. Given that the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland on the abuse allegations leveled at the singer came out earlier this year, it’s easy to single it out as the primary cause, but Forbes‘ Zack O’Malley Greenburg reports that this isn’t necessarily true.
According to Greenburg, last year’s $400 million stems from $300 million due to the sale of Jackson’s stake in EMI Publishing, a new record deal with Sony, and money from a CBS Halloween special, meaning it’s not surprising that the year’s earnings have dipped. With that being said, even with the release of the defamatory accusations in Dan Reed’s documentary, Jackson’s U.S. streaming totals increased by 17 percent.
Of course, David Bakula, Nielsen’s senior VP of Insight and Analytics, still believes Leaving Neverland had an impact — just not a very significant one.
“Michael Jackson … maybe had a little bit of a downside from the detractors, probably an equal amount of upside from the supporters. He’s just going to continue to grow because streaming’s continuing to grow, and because he’s got some unbelievably popular pop songs.”
Regardless, centimillion-dollar payouts for Jackson aren’t as likely anymore, but this is reportedly due to the end of asset sales and megadeals — such as the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour and This Is It — that fueled such payouts. In the future, Jackson will continue to generate money from the Las Vegas show “Michael Jackson One,” payouts from Sony, and his Mijac Music Catalog.
#MJTrivia: Which beloved rapper appeared as a child in Michael Jackson’s “Ghosts”? Hint: He says he started wearing loafers and high waisted pants during his 2009 Ecstatic tour in homage to Michael. pic.twitter.com/OR9PWLDKeU— Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) October 29, 2019
As for his music, platforms like Apple Music and Spotify will continue to bring in money and help reach new fans, which can push such consumers to purchase T-shirts, posters, box sets, and productions, such as the Jackson-themed musical that is set to hit Broadway in August of next year.
Another source of revenue is his infamous Neverland ranch, which is now named Sycamore Valley Ranch and currently on the market for $31 million. As The Inquisitr reported, the renamed ranch is owned by Jackson’s estate as well as the real estate investment trust Colony Capital, and has undergone many massive upgrades in terms of landscaping and infrastructure. Despite these changes, it retains many of its stand-out features from the Neverland days, including the train tracks, four-acre pool, and massive outdoor clock.
The ranch is also where Jackson was accused of sexually molesting Wade Robson and James Safechuck — the alleged victims spotlighted in Leaving Neverland.