'Mad Men' Paid The Beatles $250,000 for Historical Authenticity
Was it worth it for Mad Men to drop a reported $250,000 to play The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" as the end of Sunday's episode? We're guessing it was.
Was it worth it for Mad Men to drop a reported $250,000 to play The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" as the end of Sunday's episode? We're guessing it was. According to The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, Matt Weiner and co. spent a cool quarter mil to play off Mad Men to the band famously stingy in doling out the rights to reproduce its music for film or for television (or even for iTunes). Forbes's Jeff Bercovici breaks it down like this: "Between licensing the publishing rights from Sony ATV Publishing and the rights to the master held by EMI, sources estimate Lionsgate spent somewhere in the six-figure range. One knowledgeable source puts the combined sum at around $250,000."
Bercovici noticed that the song played well into the plot of the episode, but really we see more pressing need for its inclusion in the show. Mad Men prides itself on its authenticity, so how could it claim to represent the 1960s if it didn't somehow in include The Beatles? That's an authenticity, by the way, validated by the living half of the group. "It just turns out actually that they're huge fans of the show," Mad Men writer and producer Andre Jacquemetton said.
In any case, you can listen to the song for free here: