A recent article by veteran US indie musician, Damon Krukowski (formerly of Galaxie 500) highlights the paucity of remuneration to artists from the popular internet radio-on-demand services Spotify and Pandora. While it has been common knowledge for some timeâ€”a well-circulated 2010 infographic calculated that an artist would need more than 4 million plays on Spotify to earn the minimum US monthly wageâ€”the disconnect between music streamed from the cloud and money in an artistâ€™s pocket has usually been demonstrated in hypotheticals. Instead, Krukowski generously opens the books on his own music with hard data one of from his former bandâ€™s best known tracks.
My BMI royalty check arrived recently, reporting songwriting earnings from the first quarter of 2012, and I was glad to see that our music is being listened to via these services. Galaxie 500â€™s â€˜Tugboatâ€™, for example, was played 7,800 times on Pandora that quarter, for which its three songwriters were paid a collective total of 21 cents, or seven cents each. Spotify pays better: For the 5,960 times â€˜Tugboatâ€™ was played there, Galaxie 500â€™s songwriters went collectively into triple digits: $1.05 (35 cents each).
Itâ€™s one thing to talk hypothetically. Itâ€™s quite another to see nearly 8,000 â€˜playsâ€™ of an actual song valued at less than local phone call. Continue Reading →