The tremendous financial clout that women wield is increasingly visible in their contributions to the economy, especially in the world of entertainment. (UBS)

Around the world, women continue to make great strides in education and the workplace, contributing more to household incomes than ever before. In the United States, the world’s largest wealth market, women control—and are on track to control—a whopping $30T by 2030, a 300% increase from $10T in 2020.*

The tremendous financial clout that women wield is increasingly visible in their contributions to the economy, especially in the world of entertainment. This summer, three major women-lead endeavors became major cultural forces, breaking records and shattering long-held but incorrect stereotypes about the viability of women as headline acts.

As reported by many global financial outlets, Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour, Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie show that women are more than ‘just’ consumers and earners—they are GDP engines, using their name, image, and likeness to generate entire industries around themselves.

Let’s start with Queen Bey, whose Renaissance tour is now the highest-grossing R&B tour ever, hitting $500M in revenue before the first curtain was raised. Forbes* estimated the tour would exceed $2B gross before it was done. And Beyonce’s only competition is Beyonce—the #2 and #3 biggest R&B tours are also hers.

Taylor Swift’s Eras tour is the biggest in global history, and by a wide margin: Projected to gross $2.2B in North America alone, she more than doubled Elton John’s previous record of $939M worldwide.* The August Fed Beige book credited “Taylornomics” with generating $5B in US consumer spend—more revenue for local businesses than Super Bowl LVII.

And, speaking of the NFL, Swift’s appearance at a recent Kansas City Chiefs game to watch rumored-boyfriend Travis Kelce is credited with lifting viewership 63% among 18-49 year old women, driving that game to the week’s #1 program. After the game, Kelce added 300,000 Instagram followers, saw a 400% spike in merchandise, and his Apple podcast jumped to #1.*

Finally, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie blasted the long-standing myth that movies with female leads would never perform as well as those with men. Barbie is the highest-grossing film in Warner Bros’ 100-year history.* At Alamo Cinema, Barbie surpassed Avengers: Endgame as the theater chain’s biggest draw.* With strikes still ongoing, the industry is relying heavily on Swift’s concert movie, scheduled for October release, to open at $150M over the first weekend.*

The latest Own Your Worth (OYW) report published by the UBS Women’s Segment encourages all women to recognize their role as breadwinners and industry leaders, by taking control of their money, assets, and careers. For example, Swift is re-recording all her songs so that she can control her own intellectual property moving forward. Beyonce is constantly re-defining and re-setting gender expectations around women, money, and family roles. Gerwig’s Barbie has finally laid to rest the prejudice that women ‘just can’t carry a movie’ the way men can.

Through our Own Your Worth research, UBS has sought to develop a unique understanding of the challenges that women investors face, including women who are in high-earning positions, and we are well-equipped to support these women on their financial journeys. Additionally, the Athletes & Entertainers Segment offers structured advice and expertise, tailored to entertainers like these, so these women can shape their lives, families and legacies with meaningful financial planning.

Main contributor: Tricia Juhn

* Sources:

McKinsey, Women as the Next Wave of Growth, July 29, 2020.

May 9, 2023. On October 5, 2023, Forbes revised its estimates, saying Renaissance would outearn Eras by $500M.

Time Magazine, August 9, 2023.

Axios, October 1, 2023

NME, August 29, 2023

Variety, August 31, 2023

CNBC, October 12, 2023

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