The cost of making a hit song or album - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

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>>

  • Friday Night Live: August 29, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 29, 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:14:33 GMT

    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: Electric Zoo Festival, Beth Shak, Richard Albrecht, Kathy Wakile, and Moses Laboy .

    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: Electric Zoo Festival, Beth Shak, Richard Albrecht, Kathy Wakile, and Moses Laboy .


  • Cocktails with Moses Laboy

    Cocktails with Moses Laboy

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:49:46 GMT
    Mixologist Moses Laboy came to Friday Night Live to mix up some cocktails to get us started on the holiday weekend. Born and raised in Spanish Harlem, Laboy has mixed drinks at Red Rooster, Los Americanos, Le Colonial NYC, and elsewhere. He has served drinks to President Obama and President Clinton.
    Mixologist Moses Laboy came to Friday Night Live to mix up some cocktails to get us started on the holiday weekend. Born and raised in Spanish Harlem, Laboy has mixed drinks at Red Rooster, Los Americanos, Le Colonial NYC, and elsewhere. He has served drinks to President Obama and President Clinton.
  • Business is good at Coney Island

    Business is good at Coney Island

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:22:32 GMT
    From the brand-new Thunderbolt roller coaster to the world-famous boardwalk, tourists and business owners alike say Coney Island had a great ride of its own this summer. Toms Coney Island's general manager Vasilios Tourlokas says the mild summer impacted his boardwalk business in the best way possible: a 10 to 15 percent increase.
    From the brand-new Thunderbolt roller coaster to the world-famous boardwalk, tourists and business owners alike say Coney Island had a great ride of its own this summer. Toms Coney Island's general manager Vasilios Tourlokas says the mild summer impacted his boardwalk business in the best way possible: a 10 to 15 percent increase.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

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