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7 Million for THAT Performance, Why?

Whether you were cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Canadians across North America were tuned in to watch the Super Bowl this past Sunday. As the game transitioned to halftime, all eyes were on the Canadian-made The Weeknd.


The consensus of the performance was, if you were a fan of The Weeknd you enjoyed it, but if you didn’t like his music then you didn’t enjoy the performance. Although by no means am I The Weeknd’s biggest fan, I still felt a sense of pride watching a Canadian Artist perform on the world’s biggest stage.


When I heard that The Weeknd would be putting up $7 million of his own money, I was perplexed to say the least. I couldn’t understand the need/want to invest his own money into a performance that is usually funded. Then I did some research, and as much as I don’t like The Weeknd, he is a genius.


Let’s break down the numbers (which really isn’t my strong suit, but I’ll do my best). The precedent for artists is that the Super Bowl does not pay anyone to perform. After past performances, Shakira and JLo saw an increase of 900% in their music downloads. Lady Gaga experienced a 1000% growth as well. This proves critical for increasing downloads and streams quickly.


When considering concert consequences, on average, concert ticket searches jump 50% and the gross pay per concert performance increases by $200,000. Although there are limited concerts across the world, this still proves to be a driver for future ticket sales. The Weeknd also has his tour set for roughly a year from now in 2022.


Lastly, comparing brands and artists, brands pay $5.5 million for a 30-second ad and The Weeknd paid $7 million for a 15-minute performance. After that comparison I began to rethink my original thought. It’s clear that, if anything, he got a discounted price for the world stage.


A genius move by The Weeknd who also launched a year length marketing plan releasing various photographs of him receiving plastic surgery.


I will always give credit where credit is due. This time, The Weeknd made a great business and marketing decision this Super Bowl. I don’t look forward to his new music, but I respect the success and strategy behind it.




Chris Kislinsky



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