Pandora founder Tim Westergren has revealed top-earning artists are recieving over $1m annusally from the internet radio service, while several low-profile artists are seeing annual royalties of over $100,000.
In a recent blog entry, Westergren said:
“Have you heard of Donnie McClurkin, French Montana or Grupo Bryndis? If you haven't you're not alone. They are artists whose sales ranks on Amazon are 4,752, 17,000 and 183,187, respectively. These are all working artists who live well outside the mainstream - no steady rotation on broadcast radio, no high profile opening slots on major tours, no front page placement in online retail. What they also have in common is a steady income from Pandora. In the next twelve months Pandora is on track to pay performance fees of $100,228, $138,567 and $114,192, respectively, for the music we play to their large and fast-growing audiences on Pandora.”
The Pandora founder went on to explain that these figures are “just the tip of the iceberg” and that, over the next year, two thousand artists will receive a sum of over $10,000 each from the service. This is in addition to a reported 800 that will receive over $50,000 which is “more than the income of the average American household”.
For more established artists, Westergren revealed that “top earners” including Coldplay and Adele are being paid over $1 million each and that Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a individual annual rate of $3.
Bringing the emphasis back to the core of what Pandora offers, Westergren said: “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 US, and not come away thinking something is wrong.”
He also stressed the “positive effect on both music sales and the curtailing of music piracy” and that “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.”
Westergren rounded off his blog with the following annual royalty figures:
Rascal Flatts ($670,351), Iron & Wine ($173,152), Bon Iver ($135,223), George Winston ($85,239), Zac Brown Band ($547,064), The Four Tops ($65,173), Ellie Goulding ($609,046), Mumford & Sons ($523,902).