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Pandora Shares Artist Payment Figures 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the money-for-nothin' dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today in a blog post, Pandora has shared some details of the fees they pay to musical artists for playing songs over their music streaming service. Over 2,000 different artists will pull in $10,000 or more in the next year, and 800 will get paid over $50,000. They provided a few specific examples as well. Grupo Bryndis, who has a sales rank on Amazon of 183,187 (in other words, who is not at all a household name), is on track to receive $114,192. A few earners are getting over $1 million annually, such as Coldplay and Adele. 'Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.' The post segues into a broader point about the age of internet radio: '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. It's also hard to look at these numbers, knowing Pandora accounts for just 6.5% of radio listening in the U.S., and not come away thinking something is wrong. ... Congress must stop the discrimination against internet radio and allow it to operate on a level playing field, under the same rules as other forms of digital radio.'"
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Pandora Shares Artist Payment Figures

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  • by NinjaTekNeeks (817385) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:34PM (#41602389)
    Every day I listen to Pandora on the way to/from work. Inevitably I will hear the same track, often more than once and skip it. I use Pandora to discover new artists related to the well known artist I entered. Obviously if Pandora keeps playing the same tracks from this artist they will have to pay them top dollar, if they play obscure and less known (cheaper per track I assume) they will make me happy and lower expenses. I blame Pandora for this problem, not the artists.
    • by Cryophallion (1129715) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:50PM (#41602513)

      This is based on their algo which is based off of your likes and dislikes. Have you noticed that after you dislike a song, they tend to play a song you liked before? They want to keep you happy. They do tend to play your artist (if you made the station based on an artist) about every 3-5 songs. That is usually because you will tend to like that artist's music, and because that is the main focus of the station.

      Additionally, if you want more range, you can add songs or artists to a certain station to better define it for you. That way, adding a techno tune to a hard rock station may bring you something more in the middle to better refine your desires for that station.

      Also, if you are having issues, make new stations. I made some for workouts, some for the kids, etc, and refined them based on those specific feature sets. I haven't had any issues with it. But the best thing you can do is add a new style to a station and give it a wider range of filters (as there is only one or two main sets to start from based on the original artist or album, further refined by your likes).

      Also, if you don't like a song, literally tell it you are sick of that song. It will drop it from the playlist for a while.

    • by tomhath (637240) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:50PM (#41602515)
      The article blames Congress/RIAA, not the artists. I would think more popular tracks get played more often. But who decides how often a track is played? If it's on-demand then pay per play isn't so bad (that's what subscribers are paying for so pass some of it along to the artists), if Pandora is just broadcasting a playlist like a local radio station then the complaint is more valid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by quackPOT (100330)

      Do you not use the "I'm tired of this track" button?

      True some tracks get played a little too often, but using the 'tired of' button works well for me. Best $30 or so I've ever spent on music.

    • Repetition is not as bad as you claim it is.

      Sure it's late '80s, but retro is chic, no?
    • by chrismcb (983081)
      I created about a dozen channels based on various artists, with different styles. I added in some prebuilt channels like "Today;s Adult Hits" I figured this would give me a good variety. But it didn't. One of the songs I favorited I heard once a week, another I heard several times a day. I've got a dozen channels in the mix, but one band I heard way more than others (one of the channels was based on the band)
      I am currently listening to ONLY one of the prebuilt channels, and am getting a larger variety of
      • by SydShamino (547793) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @11:35PM (#41604307)

        I think all of the channels you worked on just needed more love and attention. To get a truly great variety on a channel, they need to know a wider base of things you like and dislike on that channel.

        I have used Pandora since 2005, primarily (90% of the time) listening to the same channel. I started it from four bands I liked with similar music, and then thumbed up maybe 150-200 songs and down maybe 100-1500 over the years. At this point the station is exactly what I want to listen to at work; it plays a several hundred songs I like, I have thumbed down maybe three songs in the last two years, and there's tremendous variety with little repeating. But that's literally years of effort crafting the station.

        A pretty large number of other users created a station for themselves based on my station - I can or could see that on my profile page at one point. I think that it gets recommended to people in some fashion. One thing interesting I have noticed is that, while I've never paid for Pandora One, I haven't heard or seen an ad on Pandora since I think 2009. I've had a few conversations with employees over the years, mostly suggesting bands to add or asking (or complaining) about features they should add or removed. I wonder if they have flagged some accounts as "lead users" (or "problem users") or something like that, and have ads excluded from our accounts? Actually come to think of it I haven't hit the monthly 40 hour play cap in more than a year, either. Did they eliminate that for everyone?

        • Oops, meant down 100-150.

        • I have bought Pandora One subscriptions a few times that I've given as gifts, but I didn't think those were tied to my account except maybe through cookies at time of purchase.

        • I shouldn't have said anything. I got an audio ad on my channel just now. Someone from Pandora must have read this discussion and turned them back on!

        • Jesus Christ I'm getting an audio ad every third song this morning. Bastards. It's not like I don't know Spotify is out there.

        • by RyoShin (610051)

          I've had a few conversations with employees over the years, mostly suggesting bands to add or asking (or complaining) about features they should add or removed. I wonder if they have flagged some accounts as "lead users" (or "problem users") or something like that, and have ads excluded from our accounts?

          I wouldn't be surprised. I was having an issue with their web player where it would get part-way through a song and suddenly jump to the next one. No stuttering, internet lag, or anything else to communicat

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      I've noticed this as well - my boss usually puts some Pandora station on the office sound system. It tends to play a very limited selection - we'll often hear the same song several times a day.

      I don't use them mainly because I already have a 30GB collection of carefully organized music, mostly video game soundtracks that don't exactly show up on Pandora anyways, much less organized by originating console with playlists for similar in-game context.

      • by CaptSlaq (1491233)

        I've noticed this as well - my boss usually puts some Pandora station on the office sound system. It tends to play a very limited selection - we'll often hear the same song several times a day.

        I don't use them mainly because I already have a 30GB collection of carefully organized music, mostly video game soundtracks that don't exactly show up on Pandora anyways, much less organized by originating console with playlists for similar in-game context.

        That's not to say that they DON'T have video game music. I get several tracks from Final Fantasy, Halo, and a few others on my "Final Fantasy" station.

        • by gman003 (1693318)

          Yes, but do they have ALL of it?

          Do they have not just the official, but the unabridged ripped version of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess? Do they have all the FF Piano Collections? Do they have the vastly underrated "Lufia and the Fortress of Doom"? Do they have the free ones, like the OST to "Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix"? Do they have all nine versions of "One-Winged Angel" that I know of, including the karaoke version?

          Something tells me I'm just too much of a nerd for Pandora to have all the

    • by Sanians (2738917) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:13PM (#41603149)

      Pandora's problem is their love of Apple's minimalist design philosophies.

      In the early days of Pandora they'd occasionally post a blog entry about improvements to their song selection algorithms. These were always met with endless replies from people saying it just wasn't working for them. Many people wanted more options, like to choose the specific song attributes they're interested in hearing. Many others wanted to give more specific feedback than simply "thumbs up" or "thumbs down." I'd personally love a "never play the same song twice" option, as I too mainly use Pandora for music discovery. Anyway, eventually one of their blog posts acquired so many replies from people complaining about the performance of the service that they quickly posted something completely different and never again mentioned anything relevant to their service on their blog.

      Anyway, from what I gathered back then when they were actually talking about things, they love the "simplicity" of Apple's design, and thus seek to imitate it. One of the core Apple designs is that customization options are a no-no because they might confuse users. Instead you choose just one way that something works, and it "just works" that way, whether it does what any particular person wants or not. Thus the advanced control over the song selection process that people want is completely out of the question. You're going to hear repeats because they assume that the average listener wants it to work like a radio station that plays their favorite music, and so that's how it's going to work, even if something a little different would work better for some users.

      Also, while it's difficult to claim to know without seeing the functionality of their software, I suspect their song selection engine assigns weights to how important each musical quality is that are identical for each user. In other words, they've decided that people think that vocal styles matter a certain amount, and instrumentation matters a certain amount, and the process makes no attempt to determine how much these things matter for any particular user. Thus, if you don't judge music the same way everyone else does, Pandora doesn't seem very effective. ...and for me it isn't. I tend to listen to hundreds upon hundreds of songs before it plays one new song that I like which I haven't heard before.

      As for why I think I know so much about it, back when they had their "backstage" web site, I wrote a robot to scan all of the pages (they had no robots.txt at the time) and record the half-dozen song attributes listed for each song, then applied my own song selection algorithm to the data, judging the results by listening to the 30 second samples from the web site. Despite that I only had a half-dozen attributes per song, compared to the hundreds per song that Pandora claims to have, the results from my own algorithm were on par with what I got from Pandora. I thought about writing to them and asking for access to their database, but despite throwing everything I could at the problem, I never could get results that were obviously better than their own with the limited data I had. Thus I didn't think I'd have any luck convincing them I could do any better than they were doing. (They certainly weren't open to the idea that they could improve things on their blog.)

      It's really quite sad. They've invested a lot in creating an in-depth analysis of a large catalog of music, but they insist on not using that data to it's fullest potential, simply because someone likes clean and simple user interfaces without a lot of confusing options.

      Sometime about two or three years ago I noticed the song selection take a distinctive turn for the worse, as any time I enter a song from any of half of my favorite artists, I end up with a station that simply will not play anything other than Christian music. Thus I hear nothing but "God," "Jesus," "Lord," and "Hallelujah" which, as an atheist, annoys me to hell. I like music with lyrics that aren't depressing, and a

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        An atheist, eh?

        Sometime about two or three years ago I noticed the song selection take a distinctive turn for the worse, as any time I enter a song from any of half of my favorite artists, I end up with a station that simply will not play anything other than Christian music. Thus I hear nothing but "God," "Jesus," "Lord," and "Hallelujah"

        And they say God doesn't have a sense of humor...

    • by flyneye (84093)

      I could blame the music industry, I could blame the coy innocence of the author, for what you ask? For pouring this P*SS in my ear about "artists" getting paid. Rights holders get paid. Now maybe it really is some small time self published band about .001% of the time. Most of the time it is the herd of the greedy deluded Musicanus Domesticus who sold their soul for rock and roll along with the rights to all their songs for a slice of that " rock star " pie. Fat Cats get paid. Rock Stars get advertising and

    • by martyros (588782)

      Inevitably I will hear the same track, often more than once and skip it.

      Is it actually the same track, or a different version of the same song? The problem I have is that for popular groups, like U2, the studio versions of their "hits" are on 4-5 different anthologies, and there are 10-15 different "live" versions, and Pandora doesn't seem to recognize that it's actually the same song. Same thing with dance music: A lot of dance music are remixes of each other -- but again, Pandora doesn't recognize tha

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Every day I listen to Pandora on the way to/from work. Inevitably I will hear the same track, often more than once and skip it.

      If you like rock, stream KSHE instead -- they won't play the same song twice in a day. However, you won't hear much new music there and very little indie music. For that, stream WQLZ.

  • by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:34PM (#41602395) Homepage Journal

    Well then what in the world am I doing wasting time writing software?!? Time to pull the old Casio out of the closet and lay down some tunes!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have been paying them $36 a year. This is (almost) the only money I've spent on music in my life.

  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by robbo (4388) <slashdot@@@simra...net> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:45PM (#41602465)

    it is also enabling musicians to earn a living

    If you call 800 people earning more than $50k a viable industry then I have some Florida swampland to sell you. Sounds like less than 1% of all the musicians in the world are not living in their mother's basement...

    • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:51PM (#41602519) Journal
      puh-leaze. These are musicians. They live with their girlfriends.
    • by gmacd (181857)

      Are you suggesting that 50K from ONE online source (by no means the full extent of their income) isn't serious?

      • The artists aren't earning it. Their labels are. I doubt any of the people they mentioned had a clue this income even existed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Musicians make money by playing venues. If they get ROI from recordings they are doing well. If they make chump change on mechanical recordings, then that is a bonus. The starving artists are the ones who are not playing live.

      I had a friend who could routinely make $100 an hour playing on the street. Not massive cash, but for a kid of 18, better than flipping burgers.

      • by Mitreya (579078)

        I had a friend who could routinely make $100 an hour playing on the street. Not massive cash, but for a kid of 18, better than flipping burgers.

        You are seriously uninformed about the going salaries for flipping burgers. I believe $100 an hour is a rough equivalent of $200,000 a year salary

        What strata of society do you live in, where such money is not massive cash?
        Even if you meant "a day", that's still much more than you could ever make flipping burgers ($12.50/hour after taxes).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mjwx (966435)

          I had a friend who could routinely make $100 an hour playing on the street. Not massive cash, but for a kid of 18, better than flipping burgers.

          You are seriously uninformed about the going salaries for flipping burgers. I believe $100 an hour is a rough equivalent of $200,000 a year salary

          What strata of society do you live in, where such money is not massive cash?
          Even if you meant "a day", that's still much more than you could ever make flipping burgers ($12.50/hour after taxes).

          The fact he said "better than flipping burgers" tends to indicate that he has some idea of what wage that kind of work attracts.

          BTW, $100 p/h is not a regular wage for a busker, this would be at peak foot traffic times in nightlife areas, so maybe 2 hours on 2 nights a week (8-10 PM friday and saturday nights in my city) outside of that takings would be very slow even for a good busker. So it's good for a short stint to get some extra cash but it's not a full time job.

          BTW, have you ever played an ins

        • Even if you meant "a day", that's still much more than you could ever make flipping burgers ($12.50/hour after taxes).

          Where do you live, where you can make $12.50/hour for flipping burgers?! Those must be some seriously skilled burger flippers!

          • Derp, I'm dumb. I just now realized that you were referring to the hourly rate for someone making $100/day playing music on the street.
      • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tompaulco (629533) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:06PM (#41603099) Homepage Journal
        Musicians make money by playing venues.
        Unless, of course, they are Studio Musicians, or Songwriters, or Lyricists, or Backup Vocalists, etc., etc.
        I would have to say that the best musicians I know very rarely play venues.
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          If you decide that you are going to be a 4th chair classical violinist then you simply have to deal with the choices you made. No one should be stepping up to bail you out of your own economic decisions just because they are contrary to the market.

          If you're "in it for the money" then you're simply in the wrong business.

      • He wasn't telling you the truth.
      • by Grayhand (2610049)

        Musicians make money by playing venues. If they get ROI from recordings they are doing well. If they make chump change on mechanical recordings, then that is a bonus. The starving artists are the ones who are not playing live.

        I had a friend who could routinely make $100 an hour playing on the street. Not massive cash, but for a kid of 18, better than flipping burgers.

        People always quote the venues as in live playing as the option so bands don't have to charge for their music. That hasn't been an option since the early 80s. They used to call them bar bands. They never got rich but you could make a living. Well there got to be too many indy bands fighting over who got to play that the "venues" stopped paying. Bands play for exposure so they can sell CDs and t-shirts. I've heard of bands even having to pay to play. Only the larger venues pay and they are after established

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      That 800 is just 6.5% of the Internet radio streaming. That means the total Internet streaming business is over 15 times larger than that, which (assuming there is no overlap, which is of course quite false, but for the sake of argument) means there are 12,000 people making more than $50k.... which is actually a thriving industry. Now I have no way of knowing what the actual numbers are, but that represents a single source of income. Any musician will tell you that the vast majority of their income is made

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        there are 12,000 people making more than $50k.... which is actually a thriving industry.
        I don't know about that. If they are all in the U.S., that is only 240 musicians per state that earns a living wage, or about 1 per every two cities. That seems kind of sucky.
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          This reminds me of my college days when I knew a rock bassist who's day job was being an office manager somewhere.

          No one was ever promised a bed of roses here. "Hand Sandwich" is very much par for the course. You might also be expected to do all of your own initial marketing before a major label ever looks at you assuming they would even bother.

          The Internet doesn't so much change rules as it makes things transparent. You can't hide ugly secrets anymore. They're out there for everyone to see and the word can

      • by brit74 (831798)

        That 800 is just 6.5% of the Internet radio streaming. That means the total Internet streaming business is over 15 times larger than that, which (assuming there is no overlap, which is of course quite false, but for the sake of argument) means there are 12,000 people making more than $50k.... which is actually a thriving industry.

        Actually, the summary states something different: "Pandora accounts for just 6.5% of radio listening in the U.S". Internet radio pays higher fees than terrestrial radio. So, your calculation is not correct. Here's a quote:

        "Consider this: last year Pandora generated $274MM of gross revenue, and paid $136MM of performance royalties — approximately 50 percent of the total revenue. In the same year, SiriusXM, on revenues of $2.7B paid $205M in royalties, or 7.5 percent. Radio delivered over cable television pays 15 percent of revenue. Radio delivered over the FM/AM spectrum pays nothing to performers." http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/09/21/meet-internet-radio-fairness-act-law-will-massive-financial-boon-pandora/ [thenextweb.com]

        I'm actually confused by the claim that FM/AM radio pay nothing to performers, since I'm pretty sure that they did pay ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Society_of_Composers,_Authors_and_Publishers [wikipedia.org] ). Anyway, my point is that you can't take "Pandora accounts for just 6.5% of

        • by Zak3056 (69287)

          I'm actually confused by the claim that FM/AM radio pay nothing to performers, since I'm pretty sure that they did pay ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Society_of_Composers,_Authors_and_Publishers [wikipedia.org] ).

          "Composers, Authors, and Publishers" aren't performers. Granted, someone can be both a performer and an author, but they don't have to be. As such, the statement that performers don't get paid for radio performances is not refuted by this.

          .

        • by pavon (30274)

          I'm actually confused by the claim that FM/AM radio pay nothing to performers, since I'm pretty sure that they did pay.

          To expound on Zak's comment, there are two types of copyright on music; one for the composition/lyrics/etc, and one for the specific recording. Terrestrial radio has to pay royalties for the former but not the later, while internet streaming sites (and satellite radio) have to pay both.

    • it is also enabling musicians to earn a living

      If you call 800 people earning more than $50k a viable industry then I have some Florida swampland to sell you. Sounds like less than 1% of all the musicians in the world are not living in their mother's basement...

      Because someone who makes 10k off of music on Pandora could not possibly be popular enough to sell music in other places or sell tickets to shows.

      The bad news is that how many of the "artists" on Pandora are actually corporations? Who owns the most popular historical music from the Beatles and other bands?

    • as if it were any different in the era of cassette tapes or LPs or CDs or player piano reels?

      as if it were any different in the age of patronage and wealthy benefactors in the era before mass media?

      here's some news for you: 1% of artists ever made a healthy living as an artist in all of human history, right now, and for all future time periods and societies

      but here is the big difference: the long tail. that's the new thing

      look at the picture here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_tail [wikipedia.org]

      the green part, the fat

    • Well, the VAST majority of musicians never even record a studio album. Most professionals earn their money playing local gigs or doing studio work for rich people that want to record something that'll never get heard. Most of the very talented guys I know can live off their earnings... just barely... and mostly because it allows them to get paid in cash and cheat on their taxes. There are a very very tiny percentage that even record an album. And of those and even tinier fraction that have their music end u
  • by nixed3 (1586839) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:50PM (#41602507)
    My family runs an internet radio service and I have to do the accounting for them each month. The article is referring to the fact that royalty accounting is handled in a way which makes it specifically designed to not work on the internet.

    Congress created SoundExchange corporation to make sure that "artists" get paid for internet radio use, however royalties on the net are astronomically higher than broadcast. For a commercial broadcaster, you owe SoundExchange [soundexchange.com] $0.0021 for EACH SONG that EACH USER listens to. It's a royalty of $0.0021 / song*listener. This actually makes it so that your royalty costs scale completely linearly with increasing number of listeners (high variable cost, low fixed cost), which is basically the complete opposite of terrestrial broadcast where your fixed cost is your giant antenna and royalties are estimated and often fudged (high fixed cost, low variable cost). This makes economics of scale much more difficult for the commercial webcaster than the terrestrial broadcaster. With all the influence the RIAA has over Congress it would seem that this was intentional. It seems like a classic case of regulatory capture.

    Note that this is IN ADDITION to annual fees that go to performing rights groups such as ASCAP and BMI. Those fees are paid annually, but they are generally lower than the SoundExchange fee.
    • by alen (225700)

      50% gross margins is ok which is what about pandora pays. Along with spotify

    • by pavon (30274) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @07:21PM (#41602781)

      On the other hand the class of license that a terrestrial broadcaster has puts an upper limit on the number of listeners they can have, while there is no such fundamental limit on internet radio. Furthermore, your revenues should also scale linearly with the number of listeners if you have a sane business model. So it makes sense that internet streaming royalties scale linearly, the problem is that the rate is much too high. And it wouldn't have to be if terrestrial radio lost it's Edison-era exception, and had to pay full royalties as well.

      • Furthermore, your revenues should also scale linearly with the number of listeners if you have a sane business model.

        What are you talking about? Very few prices scale linearly with quantity. It's far more common to for the unit price to go down with quantity. At the grocery store, you can buy one piece of fruit for a dollar or five for four dollars. Buy a truckload of fruit and you'll get an even better rate. Is the business model of selling fruit "insane"?

        • by Rockoon (1252108)

          Is the business model of selling fruit "insane"?

          Yes.

          The only reason the store gets away with "buy 4 get 1 free" schemes is because shoppers are often so dumb (buying more than they will use) that it more than compensates for the lower margins.

          The consumers insanity doesnt negate the retailers. Note that insane behavior may simultaneously be optimal/correct.

          Bulk discounts are only sane in cases where some form of lower overhead is associated. Otherwise its gambling.

          • So why does the store's supplier give them a price break at 1,000 units, 10,000 units, 100,000 units, etc.? Large sales reduce transaction costs and mitigate risk. Would you rather sell $5,000 worth of fruit to one person or spend all day at the farmer's market hoping to sell $5 worth of fruit to 1,000 people?

            If you've ever purchased anything for a business, you know this is the standard, not the exception. Excuse me if I don't believe that the music industry, that paragon of clear thinking and fair dealing

            • by Rockoon (1252108)

              So why does the store's supplier give them a price break at 1,000 units, 10,000 units, 100,000 units, etc.?

              Because it lowers their overhead. To have large contracts and do large scale distribution means they do not need to guess about production numbers (no under or over production), do not need to buffer production in a warehouses (they have an agreed delivery date), and can arrange optimal shipping for the numbers involved.

              Do you know anything about business? seriously.. you don't seem to know anything about business. Here is a tip.. when you don't know anything about business, don't act like you do. Since

  • It's hard to look at these numbers and not see that internet radio

    is just like regular radio - a very, very small number make the very big bucks. A not very much larger number make the big bucks. Most make a pittance.

  • by mccrew (62494)

    Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.'

    This part of the original submission got my attention. The submitter added the italics for emphasis, implying that they don't deserve it.

    Drake and Wayne, good on you.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      That isn't how I interpereted that... more, "no, they don't share the same 3 million. They EACH get 3 million."

      See for instance the "50k split between 800 artists" post.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Drake and Wayne, good on you.
      I guess they must get paid more for the people who specifically ask not to have to hear them.
    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      Of course the ARTIST gets ... ZILCH...

      this money is paid to ASCAP & BMI, and double that is paid to Sound Exchange. After accounting fees, hooker fees, blow fees, that fees, radio payload fees.... Artists get 52 cents...

      • by Mabhatter (126906)

        More than that I'd guarantee #799 having $50k paid in royalties ISN'T SEEING A DIME because all the royalty money get thrown in a big hat at Sound Exchange, then the fees come out, then they cut ALL of it by plays, which means anybody not on commercial radio gets a sliver... It's calculated "en masse" not by what some individual station paid in... So that $50k goes "poof!"

        THEN t#799's label and agent get paid FIRST.... So get gets $1... Less the stamp.

    • If you told the young Aubrey Drake Graham that someday he'd be making "only" $1 million a year as a musician, he'd probably be thrilled.

  • Pandora's problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:59PM (#41602581)

    Pandora's problem is that they're cutting out the middlemen. Middlemen tend not to like that very much, especially given that most of the people in our economy are one kind of middleman or another. Money directly to people working? That's unamerican. That's communism. That's... well, you get the idea.

    Copyright law exists principally for one reason anymore these days: Middlemen. Oh sure, they talk about the artists, but there's no such thing as an artist under copyright law anymore. They're all contractors -- and their art actually isn't art anymore, they're "works for hire". I shouldn't have to explain how RIAA fucks artists, but for those who've been living under a rock until just now, let me give you a hint: It starts with a 'c', ends with a 't', and has a lot of legal language in between that says you (the artist) brings the lube, and they bring the butt hurt. Oh, and don't bother trying to look elsewhere: It's exclusive. Just you and me baby. And it will not be over quickly. And you will not enjoy it.

    • It starts with a 'c', ends with a 't', and has a lot of legal language in between that says you (the artist) brings the lube, and they bring the butt hurt. Oh, and don't bother trying to look elsewhere: It's exclusive. Just you and me baby. And it will not be over quickly. And you will not enjoy it.

      You say that like it's a bad thing.

      Some people search long and hard to find videoclips like that, AND they're often happy to pay-per-view.

      • Some people search long and hard to find videoclips like that, AND they're often happy to pay-per-view.

        I can understand people rubbing one out looking at pictures of the artists... but a record company executive? It should be illegal, and anyone caught with the pictures punished... for cruelty to camera lenses.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:01PM (#41603437)

      You do understand that without copyright, Pandora wouldn't give a single dime to the artists, right? Pandora is a business. They're not in the habit of giving away millions of dollars when they're not legally obligated to.

      • Re:Pandora's problem (Score:4, Interesting)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @11:45PM (#41604365)

        You do understand that without copyright, Pandora wouldn't give a single dime to the artists, right? Pandora is a business. They're not in the habit of giving away millions of dollars when they're not legally obligated to.

        Why is there always That Guy(tm) who assumes that when someone disagrees with a particular instance of something, That Guy(tm) assumes they don't like all instances of the thing, and then goes on to do a reducto ad absurdum argument. Dude, let me be clear: I'm not against copyright, I'm against the copyright system we have today. Copyright should not last 150 years plus the life of the author. It shouldn't have billion trillion dollar fines with plenty of rape in prison tacked on for trivial amounts of actual damage. The list of epic fail can be continued almost indefinately... but that doesn't mean I don't support compensating artists' for their work, it means the system as it exists today is crap.

        • by artor3 (1344997)

          I apologize then. There are plenty of people on this site who DO think that copyright should not exist in any form, so when your description of copyright involves a protracted anal rape analogy, I tend to lump you in with the crazies.

  • Excellent news! This article cites real, unassailable numbers-- much of them in *dollars*. There is ample statistical basis to draw many, many well founded conclusions. These conclusions will affect many types of business, economic models, political systems, artistic expressions, and maybe even sports. I would humbly suggest that every single one of those conclusions bodes well for the careers of (stereo)typical readers of this site.

    Enjoy!
  • Meanwhile... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @09:15PM (#41603511) Homepage

    Dear Pandora Visitor,

    We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative.

    Pandora's biggest issue is that they're still blocking everyone outside of the US. When they finally wake up, the entire market will already be taken by other players like Last.fm or Spotify, which is a shame because Pandora does seem like a nice service.

    • by Drishmung (458368)

      Pandora's biggest issue is that they're still blocking everyone outside of the US.

      Not everyone any more. According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org], Pandora is now available in Australia [gizmodo.com.au] and New Zealand [pcworld.co.nz]. They apparently negotiated deals with the local licensing bodies.

    • by neonmonk (467567)

      Spotify.

      Last.FM only allows US, UK & German mobile listeners.

      Mobile listening is the biggest way people are listening to these internet radio stations. I have immense library available to me on my computer, including my laptop, why would I bother listening to internet radio?

      The internet is making distribution rights seem incredibly archaic (which they are) and is damaging legitimate sources of content distribution.

      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        Because I don't have any big band / swing era music on my computer but for whatever reason that is more or less all I'm listening to these days.
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      There is no waking up Pandora can do here. They're limited by the DCMA [wikipedia.org] as a US-based company. Pandora expanded their business with a well funded IPO in the US, which just means stronger regulation and limitations on how they can operate.

      Last.fm is in the UK and Spotify in Sweden; they're playing by different rules. The US market is big enough that Pandora is so far much larger than either of those services still, in terms of customer base and certainly in terms of revenue. If that stop being true, there

  • "Congress must stop the discrimination against internet radio and allow it to operate on a level playing field, under the same rules as other forms of digital radio.'"

    I had to wonder about this quote at the end. Most of the summary talks about how musicians are earning money from Pandora, but Pandora then says that they want the fees lowered for internet radio so that they (wait for it) can pay less money to the musicians. It was just weird. It was like "Hey! Look how much money were giving to the artists!" followed with "um, could we pass legislation to lower how much we pay them"? I'm not actually saying that the fees shouldn't be lowered. It's just a weird flip

  • I've found Pandora very lacking in variety. Tune in on the 80s channel a few times within a month and you'll hear cindi lauper within the first 10 songs every time. maybe it would be better if I used the thumbs but I don't sit at a screen when I listen. I really like the radio station concept for discovering new music but it got boring quick. I'm checking out Slacker these days.

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