Lower gas prices are impacting entertainment: How savings at the pump has meant millions for the music industry
America has been saving big time at the pump. Savings that should amount to $750 over the course of a year for families with automobiles, according to President Obama during his State of the Union address last night.
The dropping fuel cost isn’t just helping Americans keep more money in their pockets, it’s impact is reaching countless consumer-facing businesses. Entertainment is one industry benefitting from lower gas prices — more specifically, live music. Artists touring during the recent months — when fuel costs have been at historic lows — have been collectively saving millions.
In their January issue, Billboard depicts the plummeting gas prices between its start in June 2014 and its lowest point in January, comparing the cost of diesel fuel per gallon at $3.91 one year ago and today’s average of $3.13. As the magazine puts the dropping cost in perspective to the touring industry:
“At that rate, an arena tour with 10 trucks and four buses averaging five miles per gallon is saving as much as $22,000 over 30 tour dates and 10,000 miles. Extrapolate that into the summer months, when more than 1,000 buses and 10 times that many touring trucks are on the road, and the industry will save more than $15 million per month from a year ago at current price levels, were they to hold.”
Q Prime South manager Fielding Logan says between September and December, client Eric Church’s arena tour “saw a savings of about 25 percent in budgeted fuel costs versus actual fuel costs, [resulting in] about $30,000 [saved] over 33 tour dates.”
The same concept has applied to artists touring even in vans, with average unleaded gas prices dropping from $3.33 to $2.13 over the past year. Chromeo manager Ben Erickson takes into consideration miles traveled across a nationwide tour of roughly 30 stops and predicts savings of $2,000 per month for some groups.
Chromeo themselves have been saving $4,000 per month while touring in support of their newest album this fall. Erickson illustrates how all artists are becoming benefactors of the lower fuel costs, optimistically applying the trend being seen to various scales of tour sizes; “During an 18-month record cycle, where a bus and truck are used for 12 of those months, there would be a $50,000 difference in fuel costs over the course of the cycle, if fuel prices stayed at or below where they’re currently trending,”