Despite this pandemic been a particular hurdle for live performances of all kinds, and many artists around the world had to resort to pretaping some elements and other methods to ensure they stays in the game.

The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, has
pulled out all the stops as his team just revealed to Billboard that $7 million of his hard-earned cash has beeen spent on the 13-minute show.

The Weeknd At Super Bowl

It may surprise many that performers aren’t paid a fee to perform at the prestigious event but instead receive compensation for production costs.

Super Bowl organisers typically cover production costs but The Weeknd wanted to spend extra money to make this halftime show be what he envisioned which inturn, will put on his upcoming tour a successful one.

First, some history; From Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry to Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga, the most famous halftime performers in history haven’t been paid to perform at the Super Bowl. Instead, they are rewarded with exposure.

This morning, less than 24 hours after the Super Bowl ended, The Weeknd music (Including his recent album) already represented 8 out of the top 10 trending songs on Spotify.

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With 100M+ people watching the Super Bowl worldwide, the NFL recruits performers by promising media exposure.

Here’s an example:

After the 2020 Super Bowl, Jennifer Lopez & Shakira gained 3M followers on social media & saw their song downloads increase 900%.

As for The Weeknd, simply put, that’s what one of the greatest promotional events in the world will do for you. While the increased streaming exposure & social following is great, The Weeknd will see most of his financial benefit on future tours.

Data from ticketing platforms like Stubhub tells us that concert ticket searches usually jump 50% for halftime acts following the Super Bowl.

While Jennifer Lopez & Shakira couldn’t capitalize due to COVID-19, Maroon 5 saw their per-show average gross grow $200,000 to $1.7M after their 2019 Super Bowl performance and same with Travis Scott who now brings in over $1M per show, or 2x what he used to.

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The biggest issue for The Weeknd after paying $7M to perform?

The Weeknd has a 66 show tour across North America & Europe starting in 10 months, but with COVID-19 still impacting live events, who knows if that will happen. If not, given his last tour grossed $100M, The Weeknd will miss out on a massive payday.

As if that wasn’t interesting enough, The Weeknd actually paid $7M out of pocket for his performance.

Here’s why…

In a typical year, the NFL and its sponsors cover all costs related to halftime show production — typically around $13M.

For The Weeknd, that wasn’t enough and feeling that the $13M budget was inadequate given his vision, The Weeknd decided to spend $7M extra — $20M in total — to make the performance what he envisioned.

My take?

It was a no-brainer.

Think about it this way…

Brands spent $5.5M for 30-second Super Bowl Ads last night.

The Weeknd?

Well, he paid $7M, or just $1.5M more, for a 15-minute commercial, which will bring much more media attention & billions of social impressions.

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That’s obviously a great deal.

In the end, the ROI of this $7M performance will heavily depend on The Weeknd’s ability to tour within the next 12 months.

On that front, only time will tell.

Regardless, you have to respect someone betting on themselves to the tune of $7M.

That part, I love.

Go big or Go home.

It was an investment.



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