With Super Bowl 50 in the books and accordingly, another Super Bowl Halftime Show in the books as well, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay put on an exciting show despite a monotonous game itself. With all the money, promotion and advertising that goes into each Super Bowl, one would think that the halftime performers would make out with a nice paycheck at the end of the show. However, this is not the case as neither Beyonce, Mars, or Coldplay will be taking home any monetary compensation but rather, fond memories of performing at Super Bowl 50's halftime show and a hopeful boost in exposure to drive their own ticket and album sales.
According to Forbes, NFL Spokesperson Joanna Hunter stated, "We do not pay the artists. We cover expenses and production costs." Those production costs are nothing short of mind boggling. A Wall Street Journal Article noted that NFL Halftime production costs have skyed towards an estimated $10 million dollars to produce, which is about 1/5 to 1/4 of the sales of Super Bowl tickets each year.
This isn't the first time this issue has been raised, as back in 2015, Katy Perry and Rihanna were asked to perform at the Super Bowl's Halftime show, with Perry eventually landing the lead role; Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott made guest appearances during the show as well.
With years of controversy surrounding the NFL not paying the artists they get to perform at their Halftime Shows, fans have to realize that although these artists may not being paid, they're getting more free promotion than almost anyone could ask for. 2016's numbers aren't in yet, but in 2013 when Bruno Mars performed, over 115 million people tuned into the halftime show he put on, which gave Mars the opportunity to play new music, get fans excited for his 2013 campaign and even promote his 2013 Moonshine Jungle tour, with tickets going on sale the Monday after his performance. Not to mention his Unorthodox Jukebox album went from No. 7 to No. 3 on the Billboard Charts, and his record sales jumped a staggering 92% after show according to Forbes.
To be able to promote new music, tours, and albums in front of over 100 million people may certainly outweigh the one time fee the NFL "might" pay their halftime artists, should artists be paid for their performances.
There will always be controversy surrounding this issue, as some people feel as though it's unfair that Super Bowl is bring in hundreds of millions of dollars and not chipping a small portion of that to their halftime artists, but on the flipside, with all production (reaching staggering numbers) paid for and all the free promotion these halftime artists are receiving, it's hard to justify paying them large amounts for a 15-minute show, right?