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Super Bowl Halftime Performers Looking for a Boost Are Better Off Solo

The Super Bowl is the biggest booking in music, but will this year's performance produce results for the hip-hop all-star team?

Hip-hop fans will have plenty to cheer about during 2022’s Super Bowl halftime performance as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige take center stage. But those expecting a significant bump in streaming or sales for the performers should hold their applause until the final tallies are in — the crowded bill might dilute the impact of what has long been considered the premiere booking in the music industry.

According to a Billboard analysis of the last 13 years, the event produces bigger gains in music consumption activity when a single performer holds the spotlight. Justin Timberlake and Bruce Springsteen netted the biggest wins in 2018 and 2009, respectively, both benefitting from releasing albums just days before their performances. Timberlake enjoyed a 890.8% sales explosion that drove a gain of 300,000 album consumption units (up from 37,000 the week before), while Springsteen’s sales jumped 1,221% from an average of 20,000 units in the weeks leading up to the game to 266,000 the week of the game and 160,000 the week after.

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Multiple-artist bills can produce results, though. In 2016, Coldplay made one of the five biggest gains in the 13-year measurement period, up 347.9% to 115,000 album consumption units (from 33,000 to 148,000), when it tapped the star power of Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. But the 2012 lineup — a group of five, like 2022’s, headlined by Madonna with Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, M.I.A. and Cee Lo Green as guests — did not yield the same results, with Madonna’s consumption units only moving 212.7% from 17,000 to 54,000. Still, if anyone can beat the law of averages, it’s explosive performers like Eminem and Lamar.

Super Bowl Halftime Performers Get Bigger