Today I came across a very interesting article called “The Britney Economy” in the latest issue of Portfolio magazine. Duff McDonalad, the writer, calls it his “back-of-the- napkin calculations” of all the people who have made money off Britney Spears in the past and who continue to profit from her current antics (as well as legit contracts/sponsorships).
To your average celeb gossip consumer, which I’d categorize myself, Britney might seem like nothing more than a train wreck at this point, but truth is she’s still a very profitable commodity to quite a few industries from record companies, to promoters, to retail, to publishing and beyond. In fact, they’re making just as much money (if not more) off of Britney’s current (unstable) mental state.
The article estimates “annual value of the Britney Spears economy: $110 million to $120 million.”
That’s a boat load of money. Question is, what will all these people profiting off of Britney do when she’s no longer around to fulfill their financial needs?
What will it take to shake us out of this celeb-obsessed culture? I’m not preaching, trust me, I’ll skim the gossip pages for the latest news like everyone else, but that’s more of a result of over saturation in the media. Live blogging of her whereabouts to live feeds of her court appearances and Starbucks runs. Are you kidding me?! You can’t tune it out no matter how hard you try — unless you completely unplug from the wired world, which is not something I plan to do.
I sure hope Ms. Spears will come to her senses (assuming she has any left!) and surround herself with some honest people in the very near future.
Whether you’re a fan of Ms. Spears or not, the article is worth the read to see how fascination with a created image leads to profits for many.