The cost of making a hit song or album - FOX 32 News Chicago

The cost of making a hit song or album

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

What does it cost to make a hit song? Good pipes? Thick skin? What about dollar bills?

"The amount that we've spent has never had anything to do with whether it was a hit or not," says Tom Silverman, CEO and founder of Tommy Boy Records, who has dollar bills hanging as inspiration in his Flat Iron office.

"In fact some of the songs that were the least expensive to produce were the biggest hits," he says, like "Planet Rock."

"I think we spent $800 making the record," he says. "And it sold 600,000 12-inch singles."

Or remember "Jump Around"?

"Maybe when we made jump around it cost us $10,000," he says.

Silverman says Grammy-winning breakout artist Lorde also invested a relatively small amount into her breakout single, "Royals."

"It probably didn't cost that much money," he says. "I would say around $10,000, maybe even less than that."

Lorde's album "Pure Heroine" passed 1 million sales earlier this year. But the cost of making a hit gets increasingly steep as an artist gains popularity.

"An artist like Rihanna sells a lot of albums, has a big fan base, so they can invest $3, $4 million into making that album because they have too much to lose if they don't," Silverman says.

NPR estimates Rihanna's 2011 single "Man Down" cost over $1 million to produce for the writers, a great producer, not to mention recording facilities and the all-important marketing: getting the song on the airwaves. But in some ways, digital avenues like Pandora, Spotify and YouTube are bringing the cost of production down.

"You can test your music on Sirius XM, on Pandora, on other places and then take it to radio, which is more expensive, once you know the record is a hit," Silverman says.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FAA ends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    FAA ends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:11:59 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv. The announcement was made late Wednesday night.The FAA had extended the ban on Thursday afternoon after its first ban went into effect 24 hours earlier. The decision was made after a rocket launched into Israel from Gaza landed near the Ben Gurion Airport.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv. The announcement was made late Wednesday night.The FAA had extended the ban on Thursday afternoon after its first ban went into effect 24 hours earlier.  The decision was made after a rocket launched into Israel from Gaza landed near the Ben Gurion Airport. United Airlines will be the first U.S. carrier to resume flights to Israel after a two-day hiatus caused by combat.
  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
  • Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:08:03 GMT
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices