Anyone who grew up during the 00’s is definitely familiar with at least one or two of the Monkey’s songs. Be it, I bet that you look good on the dancefloor, Fluorescent Adolescent or When the sun goes down. The band are by far the most successful to emerge out of the post-Britpop post-punk revival scene with seven Brit awards and three Grammy nominations to their name. The band managed to gain popularity in their hometown of Sheffield and then a big fan base online through their Sheffield fans posting their gigs and material online. The band have gone on to extremely successful heights being one of few artists who have headlined the Glastonbury stage twice in their career and being able to sell out Madison Square Garden on the other side of the Atlantic. The band managed to headline the Glastonbury stage for the first time just four years after their first gig as a band in 2003 where they got paid just £27. Why so low a price? Supply and Demand.
The law of Supply and Demand is probably the most well-known concept in the entire field of economics. The law simply explains the change in the price of a product based on how in demand or in supply that product is. For example, say there are five people who want to buy an apple and they go into a shop and there are 500 apples. There are 100 apples for every consumer so there is a big supply and a relatively low level of demand so the price is set low at 50 cents an apple. But if there was only one apple available and still five people who want an apple well then there is a very low supply of the product and a relatively high demand so the price will go up because the level of demand has gone up and supply has lowered.
The same principle applies here with how much Arctic Monkeys get paid for a gig. For the band’s first gig ever, nearly no one knows about them because they haven’t released their music to a wide audience yet and haven’t played before so people won’t know if they like them or not yet. Which means the demand for Arctic Monkeys is very low at this point in time and the supply is relatively high compared to the low demand for the band. However, when the band started to play more and more gigs and released music that fans went on to love and demand to see then the level of demand started to increase and the level of supply of Arctic Monkeys remained the same so the price for booking the band went up.
This is why there is such a gulf in the level of income between bands in the music industry. The few bands at the top of the industry earn a very large amount of money because they are so in demand and they are the only people who can supply themselves. Then the rest of bands are paid very little amounts of money because they are not so in demand. It’s why musicians tend to be filthy rich rock stars or starving musicians.
By Daragh O’Leary