1 BILLION SERVED
Guns N’ Roses reunion tour revenue close to $500M, “November Rain” hits 1 Billion Views
Forbes — The earning power of Guns N’ Roses has been underlined as the band’s reunion tour closes in on $500 million in revenue – and its video for “November Rain” surpasses 1 billion views on YouTube.
The reunited group is now the biggest musical act on YouTube for both the 1980s and 1990s. “November Rain” is the first music video from the 1990s to reach the billion-view milestone, and the first one created before the YouTube era to do so. The band also is the biggest of the 1980s, according to YouTube, thanks to the video for “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
The “November Rain” video was released 26 years ago and its continued success shows the growing popularity of catalog songs as an income generator. The song averaged nearly 560,000 views every day in 2017. Its hits are actually increasing in recent years, with its peak daily views reached on November 25, 2017.
The biggest 1990s YouTube videos after “November Rain” are “Zombie” by The Cranberries, with 739 million views, and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” with 727 million.
Music videos off the Guns N’ Roses albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II also include “Don’t Cry,” with 471 million views, and “Estranged,” with more than 111 million. The biggest video on YouTube released in the 1980s is “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” with in excess of 692 million views.
The YouTube Music statistics show that Guns N’ Roses is popular outside the U.S., with 83% of its 2018 total views from other countries, led by Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.
The all-time top YouTube videos are still led by recent songs, with its top 20 all from this decade. This places Guns N’ Roses well down behind the likes of the top-hitter “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, which has more than 5.32 billion.
When the Guns N’ Roses “Not In This Lifetime…” reunion tour was announced in 2015 with a short run of shows, promoters predicted a gross of at least $3 million a night. Such an amount made for a potential earnings figure of at least $100 million, as reported at that time. Sources correctly predicted that singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash were to share a stage for the first time since 1993, starting with Coachella. Now their tour is in its ninth leg and has already grossed $480 million, with some 30 shows to go through to the end of November. It is already the fourth highest-grossing tour of all time, taking about $3.85 million a show – much as predicted, though behind the total takings of Coldplay, The Rolling Stones and U2.
The Guns N’ Roses success this year, also boosted by a remastered box set of the 1987 debut studio album Appetite For Destruction that was out in May, may yet encourage other bands to reunite. There have been countless wish-list surveys of fans by polling companies, with bands being mentioned including British acts Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the Smiths. Of these, Pink Floyd is perhaps the only probable one, though other acts as varied as the Smashing Pumpkins and Black Sabbath have staged comeback shows.
I’m the author of books including All You Need is Rock, collecting my rock criticism for Bloomberg. I’m now editor of Dante magazine and write for ArtInfo and Forbes. Follow me @Mark_Beech
Article and story courtesy of Mark Beech Forbes