Small artists are earning big payouts from the streaming service, but its founder wants to pay less. Can a career be built on internet radio?
Posted on Oct 10, 2012 02:23 pm
Pandora has hit back at critics who say the streaming service pays too little to artists by revealing the huge figures it intends to pay out over the next 12 months.
Founder Tim Westergren wrote a blog post that reveals it will pay more than $10,000 each to more than 2,000 artists and over $50,000 each to 800 artists.
"For top earners like Coldplay, Adele, Wiz Khalifa, Jason Aldean and others Pandora is already paying over $1 million each. Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each," he wrote.
However, the amount artists ultimately receive will depends on their record deals. It will first be paid to the label, who will pass on the artist's rate as agreed in their contracts.
Westergren sees internet radio as a big opportunity for artists, and says the additional income can help them build a career:
"I remember the many years I spent in a band when earning an additional thousand dollars a month would have been the difference between making music an avocation and a hobby. We're talking here about the very real possibility of creating, for the first time ever, an actual musicians middle class."
However, he goes on to say that the licensing fee set by the RIAA and their lobbyists ten years ago has "devastated" internet radio, suggesting he'd rather pay less to artists after all.
Do you think streaming could replace traditional purchases as the main source of income for artists? Let us know your view in the comments.