It Costs Over $1 Million to Make a Hit Pop Song


We’re fascinated (and also somewhat taken aback by) a new post on NPR’s Planet Money that breaks down the cost of creating a hit song. As Zoe Chace explains, the process begins with a writing camp, where a label gathers top songwriters and producers to put together the tracks for a star’s upcoming album, renting out around ten studios for around two weeks and dropping approximately $25,000 a day. For Rihanna’s Loud, the example Chace follows throughout the piece, that comes out to $18,000 per song. Of course, the entire cost of writing, recording, producing, and finishing a pop hit pale in comparison with the promotional budget. See an infographic with the full expense breakdown after the jump, and be sure to read the Planet Money piece for all the industry-insider details.

Graphic by Alyson Hurt/NPR