Nine Ways Musicians Actually Make Money Today

With record sales plummeting to new lows, here's how top stars are helping pay their bills

T-Shirts and Merch

One Direction/Merch
Gary Gershoff/WireImage; Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Merch has been a staple in touring artists' revenue streams for decades, and it's especially crucial for tween-focused pop stars like OneDirection – their fans' parents pay for everything. It can also be a major earner for rock veterans from Iron Maiden to the Who. Those distinctive shirts and caps are always classic.

Potential payday: $225,000 per show

Downsides: Not every touring act can make the lofty $10-$15 per ticket-holder sales of a super-hot amphitheatre act such as OneD. But just about everybody tries.

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