A recent blog post by musician and song-writer, David Lowery showcases the abhorrently low fees Pandora pays artists for their songs. According to Lowery, Pandora casted his song “Low” over one-millions times on their internet and mobile service during the last billing cycle. As payment for the song, Pandora sent Lowery a check for $16.89. That breaks down to 0.000017 cents per play, or, as Lowery states, less than he makes on a single T-shirt sale.
Lowery goes on to criticize Pandora for pandering to Congress in hopes to change the way music royalties are decided. Pandora states that its business model is unsustainable given the current fees it must pay to broadcast songs. If this is the type of fees Pandora currently pays to artists, it may be Pandora itself that needs restructuring.
The website Lowery posts this complaint on is one operated by musicians who wish to promote economic equality within the music industry. Even in today’s modern-tech age, song creators like Lowery do not receive the financial compensation they deserve. This payment problem stems from the wide-spread theft of music online, as well as a recording industry which pays itself before it pays the talent.
In the interest of irony, here is Lowery’s song, “Low” on Youtube. The video has over a million hits as well. Who knows how much money this traffic source will pay the frustrated musician.