The cost of making a hit song or album - FOX 13 News

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>>

  • New Jersey detective acquitted in Maryland highway shooting

    NJ detective acquitted in Md. highway shooting

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:16:51 GMT
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
  • Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:31:08 GMT
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.

  • Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:28:00 GMT
    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato.

    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato. Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the detective's protective vest may have saved his life.


Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

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