Say you're a career musician with some pretty well-known bands and songs to your credit. If Pandora plays your song 1 million times in 3 months, how much money do you make in royalties? Alt/indie legend David Lowery enlightens us on some inner workings of the music industry we don't often see.
All Access reports:
YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 6/24), ALL ACCESS reported that three members of the iconic Classic Rock band, PINK FLOYD made their opinions known in an op-ed piece in USA TODAY, weighing in on royalty rates on webcasters.
Now, CRACKER frontman DAVID LOWERY has posted the receipts to a blog, expressing his frustration with the royalty situation at PANDORA. He writes:
"As a songwriter PANDORA paid me $16.89 [LOWERY notes: I only own 40% of the song, the rest of the band owns the other 60% so actually amount paid to songwriters multiply by 2.5 or $42.25] for 1,159,000 play of 'Low' last quarter. Less than I make from a single T-shirt sale. Okay that’s a slight exaggeration. That’s only the premium multi-color long sleeve shirts and that’s only at venues that don’t take commission. But still.
"Soon you will be hearing from PANDORA how they need CONGRESS to change the way royalties are calculated so that they can pay much much less to songwriters and performers. For you civilians webcasting rates are 'compulsory' rates. They are set by the government (crazy, right?). Further since they are compulsory royalties, artists can not 'opt out' of a service like PANDORA even if they think PANDORA doesn’t pay them enough. The majority of songwriters have their rates set by the government, too, in the form of the ASCAP and BMI rate courts -- a single judge gets to decide the fate of songwriters (technically not a 'compulsory' but may as well be). This is already a government mandated subsidy from songwriters and artists to SILICON VALLEY. PANDORA wants to make it even worse.
"Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t PANDORA get off the couch and get an actual business model instead of asking for a handout from congress and artists? For instance: Right now PANDORA plays one minute of commercials an hour on their free service. Here’s an idea! Play two minutes of commercials and double your revenue! (SIRIUS XM plays 13 minutes and charges a subscription)."
LOWERY writes that "SIRIUS XM paid me $181.00," and notes, "Terrestrial (FM/AM) radio U.S. paid me $1,522.00."
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