Until recently, the big music labels shelled out crazy green to get their talent in front of TV cameras for promotional appearances. Each time a star performed on an awards ceremony or a top-flight chat show, record labels spent excessive amounts to put their moneymakers in front of the cameras.
Up to a quarter million dollars per appearance might be sunk into luxury travel, limos, professional hair and makeup, elaborate clothes, and an entourage whose purpose was to, say, pick all the blue M&Ms out of the bowls in said star's dressing room. The value of an on-camera performance, the labels reasoned, was still cheaper than taking out an ad.
A check for $250,000 feeds a lot of hangers-on and hairstylists, but the music companies are following the general American corporate flow and slashing expenses. Entertainment Weekly reports that Universal, which backs acts like Bon Jovi, Ne-Yo, and The Pussycat Dolls, has capped the bill for each appearance at $50,000. For just fifty grand, artists now have to figure out how to look like a million bucks. That's not much when you're Lil Wayne and your big single is called "Got Money."