How much will 1 million Pandora plays earn you

How much will 1 million Pandora plays earn you

first_imgIt’s been pointed out before that royalties paid to artists by Pandora are low. You might even say really low. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how low, musician and songwriter David Lowery has posted his most recent BMI royalty statement to show you. Yeah, Pandora is not a huge source of income. Lowery only pulled in $16.89 for over 1 million plays. He points out he would make more from selling a t-shirt.This is just the “final” number, though. There are plenty of factors that go into this rather depressing figure. First, Lowery only gets 40% of the royalties, with the rest of the band getting the remaining 60%. So the total amount paid to the band for writing the song is $42.25 for over 1 million plays.This sounds grim, and it is at least a little. You also need to figure in that Lowery’s record company is taking a much larger cut of the revenue before it gets to the artists. Then take into account this is just the songwriting royalty. Artists are also paid a separate performance royalty, which Lowery concedes is higher, but “still quite lame.”Lowery also shares the amounts he received from other forms of media. For 116,000 Spotify plays he got $12.05, and for 152,000 YouTube plays he was paid $1.95. Sirius XM was a little higher, paying out $181. Terrestrial radio is still king, though, working out to $1,522 for 20,000-30,000 plays.The money is split a lot of different ways, but there wasn’t that much to begin with. Online radio services like Pandora pay less than traditional means of broadcast. It runs fewer commercials, and doesn’t have mandatory subscriptions.So why not just run more commercials, and pay higher royalties instead of lobbying for lower payments? Pandora contends running 15 minutes of commercials every hour like radio would drive people away. It is competing with an internet full of torrents, which pay no royalties, obviously. Artists are going to have to decide if Pandora is a way to make money, or a promotional tool. It might not be both, judging from the numbers.last_img

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