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The cost of Rihanna

Written by Leigh Caldwell Thursday, 22 December 2011 10:20
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From Leigh Caldwell's ever excellent,  Knowing and Making ...a blog about cognitive and behavioural economics. Building mathematical models of how psychology influences economic systems.

I've been listening to NPR's Planet Money podcast, and one of the recent episodes [mp3 link] is about how much it costs to make - and promote - a hit single.

Or more accurately: to attempt to make a hit single.

A friend in the music industry asked me to write down their figures with so he doesn't have to listen to the whole podcast. So here they are.

The record in question is Rihanna's "Man Down", which her record company Def Jam was hoping would be one of the anthems of the summer.

The costs break down like this:
  • Initial demos made at a "writing camp": $18,000 (it costs around $200,000 to hire 10 studios for a couple of weeks and make 50-100 demos for Rihanna to choose between; this cost is apportioned over the 11 tracks on the album)
  • Fee to lyricist: $15,000
  • Fee to producer/composer: $20,000
  • Fee to vocal coach/producer: $10-15,000
  • Cost of other studios and recording costs: $10,000
Total production cost: around $78,000

And then the marketing...

To readmore check out:

http://www.knowingandmaking.com/2011/08/cost-of-making-hit-single.html 

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