Friday, 1 July 2011

how much does it cost to make a hit song?

and a follow-up from Bob Lefsetz:

'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."


Visit the archive:



If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,'

No comments: