Thursday, January 19, 2012
The Cost of a Hit Song
It's no secret that the music industry is expensive. We all imagine the famous pop artists, rappers and bands getting paid millions for every hit album or concert and living luxurious lives. What most of us don't realize is the amount of money that is input to create such hit singles and albums is astronomical. A podcast on npr analyzes the process by which Rhianna's latest hit single was made and the absurd price at which it came. Record labels will fill a dozen recording rooms with top of the line song writers and lyricists. The rooms themselves cost between $2000-$2500 per day, per room. They will work for a week or two, and by the end will emerge with multiple prospective song ideas, which also don't come cheap. A song itself will be priced roughly around $18,000, and Rhianna then gets to choose her favourites to put on her album. The mixers and editors, the producer and the vocal producer also all get paid somewhere around $55,000 total. All these expenditures and the artist herself hasn't even stepped foot into the studio to record yet. What's the reason for such grand amounts of money to be thrown around so easily? Well, you can't pay just anyone to write a song for Rhianna, or just anyone to produce her hit singles. No, these professionals specialize in making Rhianna sound as amazing as she can, and as they are few and far between, they get paid like royalty. The consumer-in this case, the listener- won't buy an album that sounds like a train filled with crying babies. That's why Rhianna and her armada of virtuosos get paid top dollar salaries for their elite labour.