Decoding Taylor Swift Concert Economics

Superstar singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, with over half a billion social media followers, launched her highly successful “The Eras Tour” through Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) Presents, encompassing 152 dates across five continents from March 17, 2023, to December 8, 2024. Unfortunately, she only visited Singapore in Southeast Asia for six shows in March 2024, bypassing other neighboring countries much to the dismay of her fans there. There were a total of 22 million users registered for access to the 330,000 available tickets during the ticket sale in Singapore, with tickets selling out immediately despite website crashes. It was later shared by Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin that he had heard from AEG that the Singapore government offered up to US$3 million in grants per show to AEG provided they bypass other Southeast Asian countries, a statement confirmed by the Singapore Tourism Board while denying it was nowhere near the amount being speculated and without specifying details of any restrictive clause, citing it was purely a commercial goal to convert Singapore as a culture hub. Thavisin added “If she came to Thailand, it would have been cheaper to organize it here, and I believe she would be able to attract more sponsors and tourists to Thailand. Even though we would have to subsidize at least 500 million baht (US$14 million), it would be worth it,”

Philippine Congressman Joey Salceda called on The Department of Foreign Affairs to pressure their counterparts for an explanation because “if true, this isn’t what good neighbors do”, citing that it boosted Singapore’s economy at the expense of neighboring countries. “It also runs contrary to the principle of consensus-based relations and solidarity on which the ASEAN was founded.” Salcedo, however, admitted that the deal worked, citing figures that hotel and airline bookings rose by up to 30% during the period. While encouraging locals to level up infrastructure, security and related logistics required to host, he shared that the exclusive term “caused an increase in industry revenues by US$60 million. So, the grant produced 30 times more in economic activity. . . Even the full cost would have returned 10 times more in economic activity.” Speaking to the Inquirer, Salcedo estimates that just a third of the tourists that Singapore attracted would have boosted the Philippine economy by P1.44 billion, assuming the Philippines also matched the subsidy given by Singapore

Using the expanded business model framework of the Mansmith Business Model Map to decode the Singapore’s concert grant, the framework provides a structured approach in analyzing and designing business models, focusing on various key building blocks and their interdependencies. Let’s look at the first five building blocks, known as the Offering model, that can make Singapore desirable with the Taylor Swift deal.

Offering Model:

  1. Target market – Foreign tourists, aiming to make Singapore a regional cultural hub and top-of-mind tourist destination.
  2. Value proposition – Exclusive opportunity: Singapore is the only stop for the artist’s concert in Southeast Asia.
  3. Channel – Offer the 55,000-seater National Stadium at the Marina Bay Sands, the new prominent visual landmark in Singapore as exclusive venue.
  4. Customer Bonding Strategy – Generate consumer demand by promoting Singapore through extensive media coverage and word-of-mouth, encouraging tourists to visit or revisit Singapore.
  5. Revenue model – Generate revenue for government from increased taxes due to higher spending by tourists. Additional revenue could come from a percent of ticket sales, merchandise, and sponsorships.

Now let’s look at the critical 6 building blocks of the operating model that will make the offering model of the Taylor Swift deal feasible.

Operating Model:

  • Value chain – Include Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to negotiate and facilitate the concert ahead of other countries.
  • Key processes – offer the advantage of an organized and disciplined government where permits and regulation ease can be guaranteed, highlight effective security measures are already in place for the safety of the artist, organizers, and attendees. Offer assistance for coordinated transportation, accommodation, and other logistical aspects for smooth event execution.
  • Key resources – Highlight available venues, with accommodation options, transportation facilities, security measures, and other logistical support required by concert organizer.
  • Key complementors – Taylor Swift as main attraction will be the tourist crowd drawer, AEG partner in international large-scale event organizing.
  • Reconfiguration for Innovation – Start doing: Create an exclusive international event to enhance Singapore/s cultural reputation to attract foreign tourists. Stop doing: Move away from traditional tax revenue model.
  • Cost – Grant for concert to secure exclusivity in hosting the event, based on earlier data provided in cities where concerts have been hosted. Benefit from economic and cultural stimulation will be more than grant amount since tourists will spend money on hotels, food, and souvenirs while visiting.

Based on the Mansmith business model map of the Taylor Swift’s Singapore concert, it can be seen it was an innovative offer made by Singapore that can benefit them in at least 4 ways – tourism, cultural image, economic boost, and higher tax revenue. If the Philippines or any Southeast Asia were to host a superstar like Taylor Swift in the future, should it offer grant similar to Singapore without asking for exclusivity? Should it first consult its competing neighboring countries in the name of inclusivity? Why or why not? What do you think?


Josiah Go is chair and chief innovation strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc., he is author of the 55-video Business Model Course available at

Visit to view the agenda of the 15th Mansmith Market Masters Conference, scheduled on May 8, 2024, where among others sensemaking, discovering, innovating, influencing, and executing will be discussed. 

See more articles on Business Model.

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Lessons from Taylor Swift Deal with Singapore

Fri Mar 15 , 2024
Thank you for the comments and messages from readers regarding my article “Decoding Taylor Swift Concert Economics (see Josiah Go’s blog” I have received more questions to answer and additional information to share. Let me share some data from the perspective of Singapore. If we analyze Singapore as an institution, its tourism market share versus competitors has been declining, […]

Josiah Go features the movers and shakers of the business world and writes about marketing, strategy, innovation, execution and entrepreneurship


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