Pay to Play?

September 08, 2014

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The NFL has been making noise this season, by asking artists to pay to be in the Super Bowl halftime show.

Historically, the NFL has selected artists that they believe will be able to draw an audience to add to the spectacle of the largest annual televised event. No dollars have been previously exchanged as artists receive massive amounts of global exposure. Last year’s game peaked at halftime with a record 115 million viewers tuning in to see Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Artists can see enormous benefits after performing, both in huge bumps in music purchases and in concert ticket sales. Regardless of who has performed, they and their record label receive huge financial rewards as a result of the Super Bowl exposure.

What would the impact on ratings be if the NFL doesn’t have a huge halftime show? Nielson has provided data that shows that the audience is larger at halftime than other times throughout the game, so indirectly the NFL is already receiving compensation from the act.1

If we had to vote, we would say don’t go down the pay-to-play road. Would Beyoncé pay to perform next time? We’d hate to see a huge artist decline to participate, and risk loosing that huge entertainer, which could overshadow the actual event. The NFL is an amazing machine, with the country’s most popular live and televised events year after year. We say leave the big game alone and let us continue to enjoy the athletics, commercials and biggest names in music!

– Greg