If you’re an up and coming artist who has performed on big shows locally you probably know what pay-to-play is. If you aren’t, I’ll explain it briefly.
In every town there is a crappy amateur promoter – who we’ll call C.A.P. – with big dreams and s*itty business tactics. C.A.P comes up with the great idea to book an artist to come perform, let’s say Kevin Gates (hi Jooles), and Gates charges, let’s say $8,000. Well, C.A.P is usually broke and can only afford about half of that, so what does he do?
He reaches out to local artist and says, “Hey! Do you want to open up for Kevin Gates? It’s a huge opportunity to reach new fans. All you have to do is pay me $1000 and sell 40 tickets. Cool?” Because local artist are ambitious, hungry for an opportunity and stupid, C.A.P usually locks in enough openers to make the show possible.
Well, apparently the NFL has been paying attention, or they’re just greedy bastards because they too are now looking to employ a pay-to-play system for the coveted opportunity to perform at halftime during the Super Bowl. Per the Wall Street Journal:
The NFL has narrowed down the list of potential performers for the 2015 Super Bowl to three candidates: Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay, these people said. While notifying the artists’ camps of their candidacy, league representatives also asked at least some of the acts if they would be willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution, in exchange for the halftime gig.
This is as good a time as any to remind you that the NFL grosses about $10 billion in revenue per year, and has a plan in place to up that number to $25 billion by 2027. Their players make less than those of the other three major sports in America and their careers are typically shorter.
It remains to be seen whether RiRi, Katy or Coldplay will actually take the NFL up on their offer, but with the Super Bowl garnering the largest television audience of the year every single year it’s hard to believe they won’t.