Money Makers, Album Sales, and Spotify Streaming Stats for 2012

We have a plethora – yes, a plethora – of random 2012 information, such as money makers, album sales stats, and music streaming info. You might have heard that Adele’s album 21 has rolled past the 10 million sales mark in the US of A, making it the 21st album to do so since Nielsen started caring counting in 1991.

For 2012 as a whole, overall album sales in the States are down 4%, but digital album sales are up 15% and individual track sales are up 6% (via Hypebot). Everything’s not lost – yet.

Dr. Dre was named the top earning hip hop artist earlier this year, but now he can claim the total for the highest earning musician by Forbes from May 2011 to May 2012 (via Billboard). The Beats by Dre headphone creator / hip hop producer / rapper (Coachella with Hologram Tupac, anyone?) made $110 million in this seemingly random financial period.

Tours are the big bread winners for artists, with U2 being number 1 last year because of it, but falling to number 4 this year. But because of his crazy tour (which you can read about here), Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters grossed $88 million this year, landing him in the number 2 spot. A couple of other UK acts were up high because of tours – Elton John and boy band Take That. The youngest artist on the list is none other than Justin Bieber. Sometimes, I just don’t get music and finances. Check out the Forbes’ Top 25 Highest-Paid Musicians of 2012.

1. Dr. Dre ($110 million)
2. Roger Waters ($88 million)
3. Elton John ($80 million)
4. U2 ($78 million)
5. Take That ($69 million)
6. Bon Jovi ($60 million)
7. Britney Spears ($58 million)
8. Paul McCartney ($57 million)
8. Taylor Swift ($57 million)
10. Justin Bieber ($55 million)
10. Toby Keith ($55 million)
12. Rihanna ($53 million)
13. Lady Gaga ($52 million)
14. Foo Fighters ($47 million)
15. Diddy ($45 million)
15. Katy Perry ($45 million)
17. Kenny Chesney ($44 million)
18. Beyonce ($40 million)
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers ($39 million)
20. Jay-Z ($38 million)
21. Coldplay ($37 million)
22. Adele ($35 million)
22. Kanye West ($35 million)
24. Michael Buble ($34 million)
25. Sade ($33 million)

Now what were the most streamed tracks on Spotify? Wait, what is Spotify? If you guessed Gangnam Style (for Most Streamed Track, not What is Spotify), you were wrong. The most streamed track was Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know (via Rolling Stone). Has anyone covered that song yet?

The most streamed album was David Guetta’s Nothing But the Beat, topping Gotye’s Making Mirrors and Drake’s Take Care. The most streamed male artist was also Guetta, while the most streamed band was Coldplay. Rihanna was the most streamed female artist, and also the one Chris Brown loves to hit the most.

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