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How much money has New Order made from the song "Blue Monday"?
September 19, 2006 9:48 AM   Subscribe

How much money has New Order made from the song "Blue Monday"?
posted by markmillard to Work & Money (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, the wiki entry says this:

It is, however, probably true that New Order saw little profit from the single's success, since their investment in the Hacienda nightclub swallowed much of the money they made from their hit.

Something similar was said in the film “24 Hour Party People” too. Not that it is supposed to reflect history all that accurately though.
posted by ed\26h at 9:58 AM on September 19, 2006


One of the principal causes of the demise of Factory Records was the cost of the artwork/packaging for the Blue Monday 12" apparently.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 10:10 AM on September 19, 2006


the cost of the artwork/packaging for the Blue Monday 12"

It's an urban legend that NO lost money on BM. The early complex packaging (which was, indeed, expensive) was quickly revised on second and subsequent pressings into a cheaper screenprint with less (and then no) cut-outs or embossing and less inserts. Post-1st pressings also dropped the silver inner sleeve. This packaging was profitable.
posted by meehawl at 10:22 AM on September 19, 2006


I'd think that the famous losses made on the first pressing of Blue Monday (i think they were down 10p per 12" thanks to the lovely packaging) would have been long since offset by subsequent reissues/re-recordings (1988, 1995), inclusion on tons of compilations/film soundtracks, the many cover versions, radio play, &c. and made it pretty profitable for the band. $200, 000 for the jingle version they recorded to promote Sunkist won't have hurt either, the sell-outs.

No idea how you'd find out an exact figure, though.
posted by jack_mo at 10:30 AM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Heh, I just switched the telly on, only to see a Mars Bar advert, soundtracked by... Blue Monday. So that's another several hundred thousand pounds to add to the pot.
posted by jack_mo at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2006


My favorite line from 24 Hour Party People - possibly one of my favorite lines ever:

"We are an experiment in human nature. I protected myself from the dilemma of selling out by having nothing to sell."
posted by any major dude at 10:56 AM on September 19, 2006


So that's another several hundred thousand pounds to add to the pot.

are you joking? when I did a starbucks commercial in the US featuring survivor, we paid them about 85.000 not only for the usage to eye of the tiger but also to rerecord it with altered lyrics. another time, we got devo's freedom of choice for about 40k. the UK market is significantly smaller.

one or two year rights in one medium will net them significantly less than you think. anything else would be just ridiculous.

you can get an a-list voiceover like alec baldwin for 4k per day.
posted by krautland at 11:02 AM on September 19, 2006 [3 favorites]


one or two year rights in one medium will net them significantly less than you think. anything else would be just ridiculous.

On the other hand, these guys, who are several orders of magnitude less well known than New Order, turned down an offer of $180,000 to use one of their songs in a Hummer ad.

So it's certainly plausible that a song like "Blue Monday" could command an offer in the 6 figures (GBP).
posted by dersins at 11:19 AM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


A high profile actor like Alec Baldwin will do a day's voiceover work for 4 thousand bucks? I'm really surprised.
posted by davebush at 11:26 AM on September 19, 2006


Hasn't anyone seen New Order Story? They rerecorded the vocals for Blue Monday for a Sunkist commercial. Hearing Bernard Sumner sing "Sunkist is the one" results in giggles every time.
posted by mikeh at 11:38 AM on September 19, 2006


I can't believe the original packaging could have been that expensive. A couple of die cuts and some shiny paper? How much could that have really added to the cost?

I certainly bought my copy because of it, though...the fact that I also liked the song was absolutely secondary.
posted by bink at 2:15 PM on September 19, 2006


A couple of die cuts and some shiny paper? How much could that have really added to the cost?

short answer: A lot. A complex print job in a very small quantity is the most expensive per-unit printing there is.

long answer: When printing, every special material (foil or other unusual substrates) means longer set-up times and slower print speeds. Every special process (embossing or debossing, die cuts, etc) means a special die to make, another machine to be used with an operator who specializes in said process. It often also means shipping the half-finished material to a different plant to get said process done. Economy of scale really matters in printing. Much of the cost is in the preparation and set-up, and your per-unit price drops considerably the more units you produce. Its not unusual to increase a print order to a "magic number" and find your unit price cut by 25% - 50%. However, a small company, such as an independent record label, can usually only afford a small initial print run. (The cost of warehousing a large order can be prohibitively high.) The fact that the very cool original cover for this record was so expensive is not surprising to me, but the fact that they didn't charge a pound or two more for it is.
posted by Cranialtorque at 3:38 PM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


$200,000 (for "Sunkist is the one", apparently. It also says Blur got £500,000 ($940,533.13) from Intel for Song 2.

I can't find the Sunkist video online (!), but I did find this wonderful bit of New Order performing Regret on Baywatch. Classic.

How does it feel
When a new day has begun
When you're drinking in the sunshine
Sunkist is the one.
When you need a taste for living
Sunkist is the one.


By the way, don't hassle the Hoff!
posted by meehawl at 3:49 PM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


you can get an a-list voiceover like alec baldwin for 4k per day.

Just added to Rock Steady's christmas list: Patrick Stewart doing my voicemail greeting.

I sense that markmillard is looking for gross figures, not net, so their losses on various real estate projects doesn't seem germane to the answer. I'd guess it would take their accountants a decent amount of work to pull all the necessary files together, so I don't think we'll ever get anything like a real answer. Perhaps a good enough guesstimate might be made by figuring out roughly how many ad campaigns/soundtracks it's been on, and then multiplying by some average price. I'm going to guess 20 campaigns, and use the Sunkist $200,000 and come up with $4 million. Add to that record sales (1 million copies in the UK, plus I'll guess another million in the US and third million in the rest of the world times, oh I've heard from $.10 to $.60 so let's say $.30, is $900,000, call it another million) and let's say another million for covers and samples.

I come up with $6 million. Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the music industry can tweak my numbers, but let's at least get some numbers going in this thread.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:16 PM on September 19, 2006


A complex print job in a very small quantity is the most expensive per-unit printing there is.
I thought I read somewhere there were 3 million copies printed, though. Surely they could have gotten a deal.

Thanks to this thread, I found the geekiest site on the inter-nets today: Blue Monday Owner's Club.
and yeah, I submitted a picture.
posted by bink at 6:05 PM on September 19, 2006


So it's certainly plausible that a song like "Blue Monday" could command an offer in the 6 figures (GBP).

I don't buy it.
the US market is significantly larger than the UK market. besides, rights for car advertising are higher and you also don't know just what kind of rights GM requested. the agency involved there is Modernista! in boston. I'd be very surprised if for such a big budget client they didn't request exclusive worldwide rights for a year or two in any media. still, the amount is large and carries the smell of a really bad music rep who was terrible at negotiating a lesser deal. I sincerely doubt any self-respecting agency producer would present such a number to a client or even the creatives.

I can't believe the original packaging could have been that expensive. A couple of die cuts and some shiny paper?

that statement is so mindboggingly ignorant of how m&$%#$ stupid clients can be, it makes me want to sodomize a goat. I have on my office floor a 172-page 11x17 booklet (sic!) dealing with (declined) suggestions for a popular bubble gum packaging relaunch. there are companies working years on things that you would never imagine anyone to spend more than a minute on - and that is exactly why. (reference: look up karlssonwilker, landor, robert duffy, pentagram, etc pp.) note that at I am merely talking about the creation. I haven't even begun talking about production.

I spend on average six months on a television campaign (which usually involves two to three commercials), working on two to three projects at the same time.

It also says Blur got £500,000 ($940,533.13) from Intel for Song 2.
do you have a source? anyway, I am inclined to believe this number because the song is SO iconic. I doubt blur could have sold that song more than once in a market in less than ten years. also, mccann-erickson is a shop so full of it, they really don't... uh, I shouldn't say this.

it might be interesting to look up the rolling stones. I remember them recently having signed a deal with charles schwab or one of the other financial investment companies for their song satisfaction, which I find highly ironic.

also noticeable is iggy pop. his song lust for life is being used by a cruise ship line. and yes, the agency was aware of the lyrics. I could elaborate on that project, if desired.

Just added to Rock Steady's christmas list: Patrick Stewart doing my voicemail greeting.

I'd offer one grand. simple script, per fax or email, for him to do whenever he wants, alone. ask for five takes, he'll be done in ten minutes. I'm not sure who his current rep is but call ced promos and ask if they can help you out.

they also have hal douglas, probably the most famous voiceover actor of all time, and a lot of other interesting voices. a decent agency producer should be able to secure a lesser known voice for $400.

what you need to remember is that what matters the most here is that (a) they are in town and working (since you don't want to rent a studio yourself) and that (b) it sounds like a quick thing they can do without a lot of headaches.
posted by krautland at 6:57 PM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't buy it ... do you have a source?

Read my earlier comment. Click on new-fangled hypertext thingy. See if you disagree with Sunday Times. If so, then please feel free to contact Pete Paphides there and hassle him for his sources.
posted by meehawl at 7:31 PM on September 19, 2006


I don't think refusal to do a Hummer ad necessarily means anything about the relative price of celebrity work. Now, if Hummer had offered a higher figure which they then took, maybe, but as is they could have simply refused on moral grounds to look like they were supporting a company that makes vehicles which get 9 miles to the gallon.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 7:40 PM on September 19, 2006


addendum: this is hal douglas, in spite of him being called jack here.

meehawl: thank you. I will blindly assume the source to have been agency flak and treat the information accordingly by subtracting the usual fifty percent bs tax.

gunn ... the hummer figure is high. extremely high.
posted by krautland at 8:25 PM on September 19, 2006


are you joking?

Not at all. I know a couple of people who've had their music used in advertising campaigns, and it seems a lot more profitable than having hit records - one made half a million quid off one song being used in a US and Europe-wide beer advert which ran for a year (though it's possible he was factoring in increased sales, I suppose - I think the song in question was re-released off the back of the ad).
posted by jack_mo at 9:15 AM on September 20, 2006


There seems to be several schools of opinion here. One is that of krautland, who dismisses any reports of earnings or figures that do not agree with hir experience. Another, represented by several people, presents reports of earnings gleaned from personal anecdotal evidence. A final school represents reports of earnings gleaned from mass media.

If I may offer my own personal anecdote. An aquaintance of mine made many hundreds of thousands of euro from three nights work, composing background music for a stage production that became quite successful and toured for a few years. He got this gig from selling a jungle to a local news company for a pittance - the money was insignificant but he was in mind when the producers needed some music pronto. They were desperate, he could get something passable in within their cut off, and so he got a pretty good profits deal.

You cannot easily predict the licence earnings of bands and musicians for from previous patterns. So much depends on the situational desperation and rapacity of the buyer. Some buyers consider a particular tune or jungle a must-have, or signature tune, and will sometimes pay way more for it than many people would consider reasonable.

I think the key thing to take away from this thread is that New Order has made a lot of money over the years. The band has never been shy about licencing tunes, and individually and collectively their earnings over the years have been impressive.
posted by meehawl at 10:30 AM on September 20, 2006


krautland: "the hummer figure is high. extremely high."

You're right, but all auto companies report slightly idealized mpg numbers. ;-)
posted by Mr. Gunn at 11:10 AM on September 20, 2006


One is that of krautland, who dismisses any reports of earnings or figures that do not agree with hir experience.

well, let's talk about that. I am an art director. I have been working in this industry for years and am currently at my fourth major agency in the third city. I have worked on cars, airlines, television stations, newspapers, alcohol, ngo's, international events, bubble gum, sneakers and that's just talking about the stuff plus thirty million annual budget. I have won a bunch of the major awards including cannes lions and the one show. there seem to be hundreds of kids on youtube passing my work of as theirs. I hope it gets them laid.

I do believe in the rare exception being possible. but when it come to the press clippings quoted here, I smell a public relations flak gone wild. that doesn't mean I blame them, many stars are embarrassed by how cheap they are (think about how hard some try to keep their private party gigs under wraps). but when someone tells me they got a high six-figure number for a national one-time use in a small european market, my bullshit filter becomes hyperactive.

you can get the most successful songwriter in history to write you a certain top ten hit for no more than 400.000, with all rights for you to use as you please. that, btw, would be dolly parton. you wouldn't believe what that all came up with.
posted by krautland at 9:32 PM on September 20, 2006


but when it come to the press clippings quoted here, I smell a public relations flak gone wild

I know the people who turned down the $180,000 for the hummer ad. As in, personally. That's not a "PR flak gone wild" situation. It's the truth.

Now, it may be a case of an agency producer gone wild, but agency producers are idiots anyway. Which I'm sure you're aware of, krautland.

"Make it more edgy" my ass, motherfuckers. You can't even begin to explain what you think you mean by "edgy," and REAL "edgy" would scare the shit out of you, your clients, and the millions of semi-sentient, mouth-breathing sheep who graze on your recylced pabulum and counterfeit counter culture every day.
posted by dersins at 12:59 PM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


As in, personally.
good enough for me. besides, reaffirms everything I thought I knew about modernista!.

but agency producers are idiots anyway.
yeah...nay. I have met s motherload of tools but also a few extraordinary ones. it's nice to have someone without ethical issues when it comes to putting the foot down.

"Make it more edgy" my ass, motherfuckers. You can't even begin to explain what you think you mean by "edgy," and REAL "edgy" would scare the shit out of you, your clients, and the millions of semi-sentient, mouth-breathing sheep who graze on your recylced pabulum and counterfeit counter culture every day.

make the logo bigger. I know what you mean, having dealt with a fair share of clients who demanded "edgy" only to shriek and declare "yeah, but not THAT edgy" when we did. but again, every now and then you get lucky.

I think there will be some kicking stuff coming from a major US airline that just emerged from bankrupcy (or is about to?). who would have ever thought...
posted by krautland at 10:07 PM on September 21, 2006


I think there will be some kicking stuff coming from a major US airline

I'll believe it when I see it.

And even then I won't believe it, if you know what I mean.

And I think you do.
posted by dersins at 11:56 PM on September 21, 2006


Like this:
posted by meehawl at 1:02 PM on December 3, 2006


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