10 Things How To Music

How much money does Pandora pay artists for music streaming?

Whether you get your music listening fix from your own MP3’s stored on your cellphone/tablet/desktop, from the local AM/FM radio station, or a streaming service like PANDORA, SPOTIFY, or others — you know that nothing is ever free.

Whether it be listening to advertising, viewing popups, or purchasing the audio files from your favorite vendor (Apple, Amazon, Google Play, Best Buy) — that music has to get to you somehow.  And it’s that transport that’s going to cost someone, somewhere.


So while Web Watch has covered PANDORA MUSIC ROYALTY PAYMENTS in the past, perhaps it’s time to take another look to see how things have changed – it at all.

And according to THIS ANALYSIS OF PANDORA PAYMENTS, it looks like musicians and songwriters are still getting screwed a bit.  Where we talked about Zoe getting $1652 for 1.5 million plays on Pandora last year, Michael Degusta’s analysis of Cracker’s song “LOW” estimates that song earned $1300 for 1 million plays.

Guess what?  Michael’s numbers are in the same ballpark as Web Watch’s numbers.

But the nice thing that Michael did was a bit of a breakdown of where Pandora’s payments end up, which gives us a look at where all the money Pandora pays out actually goes:

  • 40% goes to the performer
  • 44% goes to the record company
  • 3% goes to the songwriter
  • 4% goes to session musicians
  • 1% goes to ASCAP / BMI
  • 5% goes to SoundExchange
  • 3% goes to the music publisher