WASHINGTON — The pinnacle of nationwide, televised performances is perhaps none other than the annual Super Bowl halftime show.
But it may surprise you to know that despite all the extravaganza and hefty price tag to operate the halftime show, the NFL ends up paying the singers and headline performers nothing.
That's right: Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem will be paid $0 for their live performance that tens of millions of people will be watching this year.
But that does not mean performers necessarily leave the game empty handed. Here's how:
How much do halftime shows cost?
The Super Bowl halftime show is arguably one of the most expensive performances to televise: every light, firework or drone can add thousands of more dollars towards the final bill.
Reuters reports the 2020 show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira rang in at $13 million. Lady Gaga's 2017 performance, where fans saw a pre-recording of her cascade down from the top of NRG Stadium, wasn't far behind with a cost of $10 million, according to Yahoo finance.
Sometimes, performers even help cover some the production costs. Last year, The Weeknd said he dropped $7 million of his own money, and although the NFL has not confirmed the total price tag, Forbes estimates the show could have costed as much as $20 million.
How much do Super Bowl halftime performers make?
While they might not leave with a check from the NFL, the true benefit of performing at the halftime show is worldwide exposure that leads to more music sales and streaming.
For instance, The Weeknd's music sales soared by 385% in the wake of last year's performance, according to Billboard. Streaming of his songs on apps like Spotify and Apple Music increased by around 41%, Billboard reported.
The Weeknd's most popular song "Blinding Lights" saw a tremendous soar in streams following the halftime show, eventually surpassing 2 billion streams in February 2021 and becoming the second-most streamed song on Spotify worldwide, according to Forbes.
Other artists have seen similar upticks following their Super Bowl debuts. According to Newsweek, Jennifer Lopez's streams ticked on Spotify by 335% following the Super Bowl while Shakira's increased by 230%.