Madonna and Bruce Springsteen are 2012's Richest Musicians: All the Money's in Touring
Madonna has had 30 years to work out her image and figure out how to make money. And aside from touring, which remains lucrative for everybody, newer acts will find her particular blueprint unworkable for anybody whose primary demographic hasn't aged at the same rate they have.
Younger acts are constrained by allowances, then, like always. But they're also constrained by their unlucky position on the front-lines of a rapidly changing music market: Maybe the most surprising thing I learned from Billboard's article was that Justin Bieber made almost exactly as much money selling CDs as he did digital downloads. In 2012! Justin Bieber! Where are Justin Bieber fans even buying CD players?
If a man who wakes every day to find new hashtags constructed in his honor can't work out how to make more money on the internet than he does at what's left of Best Buy, we're still a ways away from anybody reaching Madonna heights.
But someone from his generation will do it. And when they do, all the Beliebers and Directioners asking for iTunes gift cards for Christmas will be just getting out of law school or their residencies and ready to spend real money trying to relive the eighth grade.