This year is the first time a second-placed ‘American Idol’ finisher was not guaranteed an album deal. That will have a major impact upon Jessica Sanchez’s pay check in comparison to her counterparts in previous seasons.
Before this year’s ‘American Idol,’ second place finishers were guaranteed the opportunity to record an album, which came with a royalties advance of at least $175,000. But in accordance with the contracts signed by this year’s ‘Idol’ finalists, Sanchez’s could be as little as $30,000, according to the Associated Press.
19 Recordings Inc., which is given the option to handle the recordings of all ‘American Idol’ alumni, replaced the guaranteed album deal for this year’s runner-up with a “Development Period.” In this time, Sanchez could be asked to record as few as four songs, for which she would be paid a $30,000 advance, or an EP of between four to 10 songs, for which she would receive a $60,000 advance. Should 19 Recordings agree to produce an entire album by Sanchez, she would receive the same $175,000 advance as previous runners-up.
This is the first time in the show’ history that the runner-up has not been guaranteed a deal to record a full album.
Analysts say the lower payday makes sense, as the market trends show consumers are more likely buy single songs rather than full albums, and also ‘American Idol’ ratings were lower this season. The finale was the lowest rated ever, a massice 32% down on 2011 viewing figures.
The winner’s prize is unchanged from last year. Phillip Phillips will receive a $300,000 advance once he completes his first album. He could receive as much as $800,000 for six albums, should 19 Recordings agrees to produce them.
Under the contracts, Idol finalists who placed below Sanchez are guaranteed a minimum $24,000 advance if they honor their obligations to record four singles, but they could be paid more if they receive deals for singles, EPs or albums.
Despite the lower paydays, there are other opportunities for Idol alumni to make moiney from their time on the show. Phillips will receive $200,000 for Disney attraction work, and Sanchez is set to make $50,000 for appearances. Both are said to be receiving a cut of merchandise profits.