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The cost of a hit song
Old 1st July 2011
  #1
Registered User
 

The cost of a hit song

From NPR:

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Hit Song? : Planet Money : NPR
Old 1st July 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
BachEnvy's Avatar
 

Fascinating article...would be great if there was any footage of these writing, producing, mixing sessions..
Old 1st July 2011
  #3
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

indeed. And people say labels have ripped off artists - it's a high risk cash game.
Old 1st July 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
yosemitesam's Avatar
 

They kind of presented the situation incorrectly saying Rihanna gets paid last--sure everything is recoupable, but she has her advance in her pocket the whole time.

I mostly just want to be at one of those camps some day!

Sent from my DROIDX using Gearslutz.com App
Old 1st July 2011
  #5
Don't forget the years of training, thousands invested in gear before you even write that song.

I always said it's easier and cheaper to become a doctor than a successful musician. The odds of a doctor being successful are far higher too.
Old 1st July 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
utters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Don't forget the years of training, thousands invested in gear before you even write that song.
I've worked with plenty of successful writers under the age of 25... most of them don't know **** about gear, so I think you're wrong on both counts heh
Old 2nd July 2011
  #7
Facepalm
Guest
Lefsetz featured this in his mailout. It's not in his archive yet, but this it what was said:


I forwarded this to a well-placed person at another label and this is what this person had to say:

"I think their one source Ray Daniels is wrong on the majority of the numbers.. He manages Rock City, the song writing duo. He's guessing on a lot of these points. Wouldn't be surprised if they wrote that song quickly.

Mixes cost $500 to $7k including studio time.

Most songwriters work just for publishing which can be worth millions if the songs are global hits. Very few command upfront fees. Most labels never offer those and almost all writers still want to be on the good projects. Rihanna prob does pay some because she probably has a huge budget and can afford to.

Those vocal production fees are high but getable on superstars.

Rihanna's writing camp was one of the biggest I've ever seen. The $25k for 10 studios per day sounds very possible as they use nice studios. Maybe even more including engineers and equipment rentals. I think they did it as an SOS as they were running out of time to make a set release date. It did produce most of the singles thus probably worth it for her. I think they got half the album or more from it. I know they didn't get the whole album from that writing camp.

We've done writing camps before. Usually at very little cost. Writing camps are usually around 3 or 4 studios/rooms and a fun, collaborative environment.

Many producers on her album get more than $20k/track. A-list producers are usually in the $15-$60k per song range, sometime more. Still you can find great tracks from $2k up. Those fees are advances on the producers royalties. One of the big changes of the last 10 years is producer fees. 10 years ago there were many hip hop producers getting north of $100k/track, now just a few in limited scenarios.

Note all three of her big hits from this album came from the production duo Stargate and two from the writer Ester Dean."
Old 8th July 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Facepalm View Post
Lefsetz featured this in his mailout. It's not in his archive yet, but this it what was said:


I forwarded this to a well-placed person at another label and this is what this person had to say:

"I think their one source Ray Daniels is wrong on the majority of the numbers.. He manages Rock City, the song writing duo. He's guessing on a lot of these points. Wouldn't be surprised if they wrote that song quickly.

Mixes cost $500 to $7k including studio time.

Most songwriters work just for publishing which can be worth millions if the songs are global hits. Very few command upfront fees. Most labels never offer those and almost all writers still want to be on the good projects. Rihanna prob does pay some because she probably has a huge budget and can afford to.

Those vocal production fees are high but getable on superstars.

Rihanna's writing camp was one of the biggest I've ever seen. The $25k for 10 studios per day sounds very possible as they use nice studios. Maybe even more including engineers and equipment rentals. I think they did it as an SOS as they were running out of time to make a set release date. It did produce most of the singles thus probably worth it for her. I think they got half the album or more from it. I know they didn't get the whole album from that writing camp.

We've done writing camps before. Usually at very little cost. Writing camps are usually around 3 or 4 studios/rooms and a fun, collaborative environment.

Many producers on her album get more than $20k/track. A-list producers are usually in the $15-$60k per song range, sometime more. Still you can find great tracks from $2k up. Those fees are advances on the producers royalties. One of the big changes of the last 10 years is producer fees. 10 years ago there were many hip hop producers getting north of $100k/track, now just a few in limited scenarios.

Note all three of her big hits from this album came from the production duo Stargate and two from the writer Ester Dean."

this makes more sense
Old 8th July 2011
  #9
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Don't forget the years of training, thousands invested in gear before you even write that song.

I always said it's easier and cheaper to become a doctor than a successful musician. The odds of a doctor being successful are far higher too.
.

Well said.

.
Old 26th July 2012
  #10
This thread should be a sticky in every music related forum on the internet. Maybe it would help bring the thousands of popstar wannabe's with their pipe dreams back down to reality.
Old 26th July 2012
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I always said it's easier and cheaper to become a doctor than a successful musician. The odds of a doctor being successful are far higher too.
Absolutely, because there is a clear cut, established path to success that you can follow if you want to be a doctor. You just need to put in the time/$/effort and stay on the path.

Comparatively speaking the music industry is the Wild West.
Old 26th July 2012
  #12
mixmixmix
Guest
Doctors get paid because if you break a leg, you MUST see the doctor. Musicians on other hand... there is no MUST. So there you go
Old 26th July 2012
  #13
Eat
Lives for gear
 

about tree fiddy!
Old 26th July 2012
  #14
Eat
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
Doctors get paid because if you break a leg, you MUST see the doctor. Musicians on other hand... there is no MUST. So there you go
not true. i've done open heart surgery on myself... replaced a valve actually
Old 26th July 2012
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eat View Post
about tree fiddy!
My first GS post..and its a HEH!
Old 26th July 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
freetard's Avatar
 

"Radio you're talking about . . ." he pauses. "Treating the radio guys nice."

Somehow 33.3% of the cost of producing a hit is "treating the radio guys nice" apparently.
Old 26th July 2012
  #17
That article is junk kind of sad how worthless NPR is these days.
Old 27th July 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Musickiks's Avatar
 

12 minutes to write the lyrics
Old 4th August 2012
  #19
ajs
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
This thread should be a sticky in every music related forum on the internet. Maybe it would help bring the thousands of popstar wannabe's with their pipe dreams back down to reality.
Without pipe dreams and unrealistic outlooks there would probably be no great art.

If it stopped just one hideous, plastic, inane, talentless fktard from bothering and possibly succeeding and therefore inevitably showing up somewhere in my life it'd be worth it, though!
Old 4th August 2012
  #20
Gear Head
 
Roisky's Avatar
 

Good article.
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