"Swifttonomics" will increase Japan's economy by ¥34.1 billion

On Wednesday, singer Taylor Swift will perform at her performance in Tokyo. Sales of her items will probably climb even more now that she won her fourth Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards on Monday, as fans will feel more pressured to buy them for their higher price. | Reuters

According to a report published by the Economic Impact Research Laboratory, Taylor Swift's four days of shows in Tokyo starting on Wednesday are expected to have an economic impact of approximately ¥34.1 billion ($230 million), which is also known as the "Swiftonomics" effect.

The 34-year-old Grammy Award-winning international pop star's Asia run of The Eras Tour at the Tokyo Dome is sold out for almost 220,000 seats as of this Saturday.

The high cost of tickets—VIP lounge seats cost ¥122,800, arena seats ¥30,000, stage side seats ¥14,800, and under-20 tickets ¥8,800—is one factor contributing to the significant economic impact. The report estimates that ticket sales will bring in ¥5.4 billion.

When Swift last visited Japan in 2018, the cost of a non-VIP ticket ranged from ¥9,800 to ¥14,800. The cost of arena seats was ¥12,800, which was less than half of what The Eras Tour would charge.

¥30,000 for an arena seat is pricey, even when compared to other big-name artists like Exile or former Johnny & Associates performers, according to Mitsumasa Etoh, the head of the Economic Impact Research Laboratory, who conducted the estimates. Concert tickets for a few more international singers were priced similarly.

Etoh remarked, "But even then, it's about ¥28,000."

He points out that The Eras Tour is organized by an American corporation, even though concerts for international musicians are typically set up by domestic organizers who extend invitations for them to play in Japan. Tickets are often priced by domestic promoters using the average price of the market, but an American corporation wouldn't be constrained by regional norms, he claimed.

The fact that the concert is only being hosted in Tokyo, requiring fans to travel from all over the country to attend, is another element adding to the huge economic effect. According to the article, these fans are expected to spend approximately ¥1 billion on lodging and ¥800 million on transportation.

Based on calculations, the average concertgoer's economic ripple effect—the cascading effect brought about by one person's actions—is ¥155,090. Particularly for a solo artist, "(The Economic Ripple Effect) is notably big for a music event held in Japan," according to Etoh.

In the pre-pandemic days of 2019, Swift's tour had an economic impact that was more than 1.5 times greater than that of a significant music festival like Fuji Rock. The three-day music extravaganza with over 100 musicians was projected to have had an economic impact of over ¥23 billion by the research institution.

Before the first leg of singer Taylor Swift's Asia-Pacific tour began in Tokyo on Wednesday, Swifties, as her fan base is known, waited in line to enter the Tokyo Dome. | AFP-JIJI

The estimate for Swift's tour, however, solely accounts for domestic concertgoers and ignores overseas visitors who are traveling to Japan specifically to see the performance. Since The Eras Tour is only slated to visit Tokyo and Singapore in Asia, a sizable number of foreign fans are traveling to Japan from nearby nations.

At the Grammy Awards on Monday, Swift took home her fourth Album of the Year trophy, a record. When musicians win these kinds of honors, their merchandise sales usually increase since fans feel more pressured to buy it because of its superior worth.

The current estimate for merchandise sales is about ¥3.4 billion, but Etoh predicts that it will probably be significantly higher because the report was completed before Swift's victory.

Swift's tour has had a huge economic influence in her native nation as well, increasing the GDP of the US in 2023 and inspiring the term "Swiftonomics" to be used.

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