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06 takeaways from this program:

00:00:01 Rihanna’s album Loud had multiple hit singles, but these songs were made possible only though the concerted efforts of dozens of people. One song in particular, ‘Man Down’ uploaded onto Youtube on 1 June 2011, has 384,680,105 views and 18,000,000 subscribers as of this post on 24 February 2016. ‘Man Down’ was written in 12 minutes.

00:00:27 Hit-factories have moved from the brick and mortar locations that churn out ‘radio-ready, award-winning pop songs’ to today’s temporary ‘writing camps’ where record labels carrying melodies and musical tracks lacking lyrics cram industry leading song writers the into the best music studios available for weeks on end until they emerge with the next hit single. Ray Daniels of Rock City manages such song-writers.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on how brands use your social media behavior to ensure they ensure a profit, refer to the documentary Generation Like: How your quest for identity & connection is subtly manipulated as well as

my interview with Data Consultants Samantha Bilodeau and Thomas Palugan.]

Combine the best beats and melodies with the best song writers, and you’re bound to release a money maker. But this process isn’t cheap.


(Photo and price estimations from npr.org)

00:01:34 Upon the conclusion of these writing camps, the singer, accompanied with his or her record label, listen to the demos and choose their favorites.

00:02:18 The vocal producer’s job is to coach singers on how to sing correctly so that it can become a hit single.

Then comes the hit song roll-out because it’s not a hit song until everybody hears it.

00:03:00 A precision one-record roll-out (in 2012) can easily cost another $1,000,000 when you add up all the concerted chess moves of live radio, television, blog appearances and interviews, billboards and top-of-the itunes charts, etc. In short: the three “M’s):

  • Marketing the song
  • Moving the artist from marketing opportunity to marketing opportunity
  • Money to ‘make sure’ those in powerful positions like you and want to talk positively about you

But wait… there’s $100K to $150K more for the music video!

00:04:37 No single hit is worth anything without an equally award-winning video.


(Source: Album photo from Rihanna’s website)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on how hit television shows, and possibly hit singles, are made, watch the TED Talk How Netflix and Amazon Pleasure You through Data-Driven Algorithms.]

2 réponses à “173. How Much It Actually Costs To Create Your Own ‘Viral’ Hit Song”

  1. […] [EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on how music shapes emotion, read my interview with composer, DJ, and producer Clemens Ruh. To find out where the lyrics for some of the most famous viral songs, check out how much it actually costs to create your own ‘viral’ song.] […]