The answer may surprise you…

Performing for more than a hundred million people can’t come cheap.

Last year, the Super Bowl 50 audience was deemed the third-largest in TV history. According to CNN, the peak was between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. when the halftime show, featuring Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay brought an average of 115.5 million viewers.

Lady Gaga is set to perform by herself at this year’s halftime performance. And she’ll get paid the same amount Beyonce, Mars and Coldplay received combined — nothing.

“We do not pay the artists,” NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter told Forbes last year. “We cover expenses and production costs.” Granted, those production costs can be hefty. According to Heavy.com, they’ve ranged between hundreds of thousands to upward of $10 million.

That’s not to say they’re doing it for free: Artists know the proof is in the numbers.

“In the week prior to the Super Bowl (sales period ending Feb. 4, 2016), [Bruno Mars’] two-album catalog moved a combined total of approximately 2,000 copies,” Billboard detailed. “That combined total spiked to 10,000 copies for the week of the Super Bowl (period ending Feb. 11). With a 400 percent sales increase, there is the most new life on Mars’ catalog after Super Bowl 50.”

Coldplay and Beyonce also experienced jumps in sales — 365 percent and 44.4 percent increases, respectively.

Lady Gaga released her new album “Joanne” in October and it helped her claim her fourth No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart shortly after. She’s since been teasing a tour, likely to be announced after her Super Bowl performance.

It’s the same move Beyonce used last year, and it worked.

Within days of her tour announcement following last year’s halftime show, Beyonce’s Formation tour dates were completely sold out in multiple venues and additional dates were added, according to a news release from Live Nation Entertainment.

Lady Gaga, who promoted her new album by performing at last year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as well as on Saturday Night Live, is likely hoping for a similar effect. Artists usually laugh off attempts to be paid in “exposure,” but there’s no exposure quite like the Super Bowl.

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Article last modified on January 24, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .