Why Maroon 5, other Super Bowl halftime show performers don't get paid

Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are the latest in a long line of world-famous musicians who will perform during the Super Bowl halftime show without receiving any compensation – at least in the traditional sense.

The NFL has a longstanding policy of not paying its halftime performers, which have included Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars in recent years. League representatives have said that the NFL covers production costs and other expenses, often amounting to millions of dollars.

The terms of this year’s performance have come under scrutiny due to the presence of Scott, who agreed to perform despite criticism from several celebrities. Scott reportedly only signed on to the show after the NFL agreed to donate $500,000 to Dream Corps, an organization dedicated to social activism.

The NFL did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the situation.

While performers don’t receive a paycheck, the Super Bowl’s massive stage provides other benefits. The show regularly draws a television audience of more than 100 million viewers, allowing musicians to reach new fans and gain international exposure.

The halftime show can also fuel a spike in music sales. Sales of Timberlake’s songs rose by 534 percent on the day of last year’s Super Bowl, according to Nielsen Music. The previous year, Lady Gaga saw a 1,000 percent sales increase.


This year’s Super Bowl will take place on Sunday, Feb. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.