Pandora founder Tim Westergren says they'll pay 2000 artists over $10,000 dollars each over the next 12 months with 800 making $50,000 or more. Top earners like Coldplay, Adele, Wiz Khalifa, Jason Aldean are getting $1 million check; and Drake and Lil Wayne's earning are "fast approaching" $3 million a year each. The disclosures come at a time when Pandora is lobbying hard to reduce streaming rates.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY:
Those that want to vilify Pandora, often wrongly place it on the same category as non-demand music streamers Spotify. A much more accurate comparison is to an FM radio with an infinite dial. You can't hear a particular song when you're craving it, but you can probably find a station that fits your overall taste and mood.
There is also real evidence that Pandora drives legal download sales. According the NPD Music Acquisition Monitor study: "Overall music purchasing was down in the last year, while the average Pandora listener purchased 29% more music during the second quarter of 2012 compared with last year. Additionally, Pandora listeners' music acquisition came increasingly from legal purchases, while non-listeners showed a decline.
Consumer's have spoken. Pandora now accounts for just 6.5% of radio listening in the U.S. The music industry has two choices:
1) take Pandora's money until the well runs dry
2) work with them to help them grow.