For over two thousand artists Pandora will pay over $10,000
dollars each over the next 12 months (including one of my
favorites, the late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson), and for more
than 800 we’ll pay over $50,000, more than the income of the
average American household. 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.
It’s hard to look at these numbers and not see that internet radio
presents an incredible opportunity to build a better future for
artists. Not only is it bringing tens of millions of listeners
back to music, across hundreds of genres, but it is also enabling
musicians to earn a living. Since Pandora accounts for just 6.53%
of all radio listening in the U.S., it seems fundamentally unfair
that other forms of radio that represent much larger shares of
U.S. radio listening pay substantially less to artists.
Hard to argue with that.