X Factor £1 million record deal axed

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • X Factor bosses have reportedly dropped the £1 million record deal offered to previous X Factor winners

    X Factor
    bosses have quietly dropped the top prize of a £1 million pound record deal for this year’s winner, according to reports.


    So it seems this year’s hopefuls, Janet Devlin, Kitty Brucknell, Frankie Cocozza, plus the other remaining eight acts can wave goodbye to dreams of that millionaire lifestyle.

    X Factor had always marketed the winner’s prize as a ‘£1 million recording contract’ but according to the Sun, the TV bosses dropped this in 2009. Finalists were sworn to secrecy and only now have the full details of their contracts emerged.

    The winning act would now need to produce four albums to reach that seven-figure salary.

    Last year’s X Factor winner, Matt Cardle, said that claims of the ‘million-pound contract’ are just exaggerated for TV. Cardle, who has just released his first single since the show, admitted, ‘I got an advance to keep me housed and fed while making my album. The million pound thing — that’s just for TV.’

    A contract, that this year’s top 16 contestants were reportedly asked to sign, reveals previously undisclosed financial details and states the winner will get an advance of just £150,000 for their first album. That’s only just slightly more than the finalists were paid last year for performing on the X Factor arena tour.

    If the winner lasts in the industry to make a second album, they will then get up to £237,500 for their follow-up record, £315,000 for their third and £400,000 for a fourth.

    Yet winning acts such as Joe McElderry and Leon Jackson were dropped after only one album, and world-renowned Leona Lewis is still only on her second album release.

    The contracts signed with Simon Cowell’s record label Syco also set up payments for runners up. Whoever comes second could get a £260,000 advance for a fourth album while for the third-placed act the figure is £187,000.

    The third act last year was One Direction, which, divided by 5 of them in the boy-band, would only leave them with just over £35,000 each after a fourth album.

    A source at ITV told the Sun newspaper, ‘The bottom line is that unless you have hit album after hit album you will never get anywhere near the £1million from selling records. But it’s still a hugely lucrative show.’

    Other revenue streams for the stars include up to £700 a day on the X Factor tour, a £10,000 bonus for appearances and a greatest hits album that could potentially earn them another £200,000. The acts also then get 15 percent of sales as a royalty payment, but slashed to half if Syco spends more than £50,000 on promoting them.

    A producer at Syco spoke about the new revelations, saying, ‘The X Factor provides a huge platform for earning potential for both the winner and finalists. It is estimated finalists have collectively earned an estimated £60million in the past few years alone including from record deals, endorsements and public appearances.’

    While the deals hardly leave contestants hard-up, the new revelations show a dramatic reduction in the X Factor prize kitty. 



    Reading now