Hit songs can determine the success of an artist’s album, but do you know how much it actually costs to produce a hit single?

NPR.org recently ran a story breaking it all down, and the numbers are staggering.

The story uses Rihann’s recent single, “Man Down,” as an example. They say Def Jam started paying for the song more than a year ago, beginning with a “writing camp” in Los Angeles way back in May 2010 to create songs for the pop star’s album, Loud.

For a writing camp, the label hires the best music writers in the country, puts them into one of the best record studios in town… and lets them go to work for around two weeks.

essentially, writer Ray Daniels who participated, called it “an all-star game.”

The camp costs an estimated $18,000, and from there, the song writer gets paid, the producer, a vocal producer, and mix and mastering engineer, and then, the song’s roll out, which gets it added to radio playlists across the country, and gets a banner ad on iTunes. The grand total: $1.078 million.

If it’s a success, it translate into single sales, album sales, and obviously touring.

Read the full story at NPR.org.