One Direction – An Economic Marvel

How One Direction stayed the World’s Biggest Band Even After it Stopped Existing


One Direction has been on an indefinite “hiatus” since December 13th, 2015 — one year ago today. In the meantime most of the members have moved on to new projects: a solo recording contract here, a label imprint there… a Christopher Nolan film, a golf management company, an embarrassing production moniker, an Ed Sheeran-lite debut single. The boys have been busy, but they haven’t been together.

Regardless, One Direction was Forbes’ second highest-paid musical act for the year. A big reason for One Direction’s $110 million haul for 2016 is simply rolled over cash from their On the Road Again tour, which grossed over $200 million and wrapped in late fall of 2015. But the group also still has nearly 9 million monthly listeners on Spotify — more than four times the number boasted by 5 Seconds of Summer, their knighted successor. Made in the AM, released in October of last year just before the hiatus, was their fifth album to debut in the Billboard top 10 — breaking a record set by The Beatles. It sold 2.4 million copies in the remaining month and a half of that year, and then took 45 weeks to drop out of the top 200. It was a steady revenue provider well into 2016.


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