Last week, Tim Westergren, CEO and founder of Pandora Internet Radio, wrote a blog post about how much his company pays artists. Long story short: It’s a lot. Here’s an excerpt from Westergren’s post:
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.
$3 million each for Drake and Weezy is bonkers, but what’s really cool is the $1000-a-month-ish that Pandora pays those two thousand “middle-class” artists. Remember, that money is from Pandora alone. So if you account for (admittedly dwindling) album sales, tour revenue and other forms of licensing, there’s reason to believe the sky isn’t falling on the music industry after all.