HOW THEY MADE THEIR FORTUNE
THE MUSIC: Though not to everyone’s liking, 1D’s tunes are undeniably catchy. Their 2011 debut single, What Makes You Beautiful, went straight to number one, selling 82,000 copies in 36 hours. Their five albums have sold 20 million copies.
The quintet also secured a record-breaking six number ones on the notoriously hard-to-crack U.S. Billboard. While the band do use outside songwriters, they have become increasingly involved in the process of making music and have collected dozens of song-writing credits.
THE MENTOR: His brainchild X Factor may have struggled of late, but there is no disputing music mogul Simon Cowell cracked it when he put together One Direction.
For the past six years they have been a cash cow. Despite the band only coming third in the show — they lost out to winner Matt Cardle and runner-up Rebecca Ferguson — canny Cowell, 57, snapped them up to his Syco label for an undisclosed sum — industry-speak for ‘not a lot’. Three years ago they signed a reported £10 million three-album deal when the initial deal expired.
THE MONEY: The real winners have been Cowell and his fellow executives at Syco, plus its parent company Sony. The latter is thought to have earned around £630 million from the band so far — from the music and merchandising.
While it is not known what Cowell pocketed personally, the two record labels take 20 per cent of gross earnings. Cowell insisted on getting the boys financial advisers and they each have a team of accountants monitoring their spending.
THE ACCOLADES: Their 242 gongs include seven Brits, 11 MTV awards and two prestigious Billboard Music nods — plus two NME ‘Worst Band’ awards.