Rihanna didn’t get paid for the Halftime Show, but her streams are spiking

We go through this every year, and every year, I guess people are hearing it for the first time. The NFL doesn’t pay their Halftime performers. All of those times Beyonce performed at the Super Bowl, she didn’t get paid. Maroon 5 didn’t get paid. Coldplay didn’t get paid. Rihanna didn’t get paid for performing this year. The NFL will pick up expenses, especially for the staging, the pyrotechnics and the dancers. But Rihanna didn’t pick up a fat check from the NFL for her Halftime performance:

Rihanna may have put in the work, work, work, work, work at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show, but, as is customary for the mid-game spectacle, she did so for free. Though the famed halftime show often attracts the biggest names in music (everyone from Beyoncé to Bruce Springsteen has graced the stage), there’s actually no paycheck involved for the headlining act.

“We do not pay the artists,” an NFL spokesperson told Forbes in 2016. “We cover expenses and production costs.”

Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s vice president of communications, confirmed to Newsweek that the league does cover “all costs associated with the show” — and while artists don’t receive an appearance fee, they are paid union scale, which is a minimum wage guaranteed by a union contract.

For many, the exposure and the chance to perform before increasingly large crowds is well worth the journey; last year’s Super Bowl was watched by 112.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen and streaming data from NBC, and this year’s match-up was poised to pull in even higher ratings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Artists often see a boost in sales immediately after the show, as well as the chance to increase their social media followings. In a moment that’s since gone viral, Rihanna also touched up her makeup using a compact from her Fenty Beauty brand. She also topped off her beauty look with a new liquid lipstick, called the “MVP,” that launched online during halftime.

[From People]

Yeah, the exposure is a big deal, even for already well-established artists. This year, Apple Music was the main sponsor of the Halftime show, and sales of Rihanna’s (old) hits have gone though the roof. She’s also getting a huge spike in streams on Spotify. AND her Fenty beauty line has seen an immediate spike in sales too. According to Variety, Rihanna’s Spotify streams spiked 640% in the US, and Apple Music reports a 331% spike in listeners.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty, Cover Images.

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25 Responses to “Rihanna didn’t get paid for the Halftime Show, but her streams are spiking”

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  1. StellainNH says:

    Even though I don’t know a lot of her songs, I did enjoy Rihanna’s performance.

    On social media, I have seen interest in Weird Al Yankovic being pushed for a Super Bowl halftime show—that is something I would love to see.

  2. Bookie says:

    I am one of those people who have to be told every year that the performers don’t get paid.

    • Mimi says:

      Simply because it seems so bizarre. The NFL makes RECORD profits every year, but get tax breaks and expects their performers to forgo pay. Nuts!

      • Indica says:

        A few years ago the NFL decided they were going to charge performers for the ‘privilege’ of performing at the super bowl. Imagine their surprise when the top acts they wanted said ‘ummmmmmm Nope.’

      • Kim says:

        Right, it’s not like they don’t have the money! Genuinely makes no sense to me why the artists are ok with it.

    • SomeChick says:

      they used to pay. then around the time Katy Perry performed, they changed the policy. I know this because I am a huge Prince fan, and when I heard they don’t pay the halftime artists, I was gobsmacked. but when he did it, he got paid. it’s a relatively recent change.

  3. Chantal says:

    Smart marketing RiRi!

  4. B says:

    RiRi is so smart! A pregnancy reveal and releasing MVP during the half-time show is marketing genius. She’s used one career to boost another career. Super bowl ratings were up, Fenty google searches are up and people are streaming her music. Win-Win

    • CherriePie84 says:

      Exactly! This is a business. Rihanna does not care about some people’s opinions of her performance being lackluster or whatever. She is smiling all the way to the Bank, her fan-base is still secure and I’m sure she has gained a new following as well.

    • Coco says:

      Not really “marketing genius“ this is what many artists do.

      Hence why artist released albums and products around the time they do the Super Bowl, because they know they were sales are going to skyrocket.

  5. Fancyhat says:

    Rihanna’s performance is about average for how she performs. She’s not a great dancer or singer. My biggest disappointment is that she skipped all of her best hits IMO. Where was Pon de Replay, SOS, Stay, What’s My Name, Shut Up and Drive? I hated the emphasis on her more recent songs as I feel like that is the weaker part of her catalog

    • C says:

      Yeah, the absence of SOS was a shame.

    • Chaine says:

      I missed Stay, too. But that’s ok, the performance did have me playing my faves on Spotify, so I guess it had the intended effect.

    • Green Desert says:

      The songs you mention are hits but I think the collection for her performance was arranged very well. The songs flowed and matched the visuals.

      Side note: I’ve been listening to Anti a lot lately (her 2016 and most recent album, sigh). It’s FANTASTIC. IMO that’s her best album with stronger, more mature songs.

      • lucy2 says:

        I think the songs flowed together well too.
        I like Stay, but it’s really more of a ballad and not a dance song like the ones she performed.

  6. Noki says:

    They pay for production but I wonder how much they pay, because if The Weeknd had to pay an additional $7milliion for his vision it must not be a whole lot, and Rihannas levitating stages did not look cheap.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Yeah, I think the artist payment is basically getting to build a stage show with an unlimited budget and huge audience. It would be nice for the NFL to kick in a nice sized check to the artist’s charity, but I’m guessing they don’t want to get into competitive negotiations with the artists over money. AKA I deserve more than The Weeknd.

      I liked the show and was glad it was just the one artist, no stunts or guests. Once I realized it was Rihanna being her own damn self, I got a real kick out of it.

      Had a friend saying Rihanna has a baby in her tummy to her toddler and suddenly finding herself having to explain more than she expected. Not thinking this moment through – hilarious.

  7. Well Wisher says:

    The NFL does not pay performers, Rihanna is no exception.

    They pay all the expenses for the production through sponsorship.

  8. Flowerlake says:

    Too bad artists get very little for streams.

    She worked so should be paid.
    It’s not like she did this for a charity.

    Too often on all layers people want to pay artists with exposure.

  9. Becks1 says:

    I’m sort of surprised they don’t get paid, because I would argue that they pick artists who don’t need the exposure, but I guess I do always end up listening to the artists after the halftime show. I’ve listened to Take a Bow and Breakin’ Dishes a lot over the past two days lol (my personal two favorite Rihanna songs.)

  10. Frippery says:

    That’s why Tom Holland wasn’t there. Spidey don’t dance for free.

  11. AmelieOriginal says:

    I know the Superbowl artists don’t get paid for their half-time show performance but does the artist pay everyone else? I dunno why this just hit me but many artists have a huge troupe of backup dancers accompanying them along with their make up artist, wardrobe, crew etc. I’m assuming the NFL doesn’t pay any of them so it’s on the performing artist to cover the fees for everyone involved? If I was a backup dancer for a Superbowl artist, I wouldn’t want to perform for free. But maybe everyone does it for free just because it’s the Superbowl?

  12. Bisynaptic says:

    I love how getting paid union scale is considered not getting paid, at all.