Music streaming stalwart, Pandora, releases the numbers they pay out to artists, and some of the astronomical payouts may surprise, such as both Drake and Lil Wayne earning $3 million from Pandora alone.
Just taking a cursory look at album sales over the past year, it would appear that recording artists are in a bad way and not making nearly as much money as they once were. The villainous scapegoat for this occurence is of course, online streaming of music. Recently, the CEO of Pandora released the numbers that some artists make, from their site alone, and a few including Drake and Lil Wayne are paid over $2 million in royalties from Pandora...each year.
Of course, mega stars like Drizzy and Wayne are the exception, but plenty of other lesser known artists are pulling in a handsome sum from Pandora. CEO Tim Westergren says, via BusinessInsider, that quite a few artists are pulling in $100,000 a year, "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,
Pandora pays over 55% of their revenue to artist royalties, and will hand out over $10,000 to over two thousand different artists over the next year. Wiz Khalifa is another star name pulling in over a million a year, but it is YMCMB members Drake and Lil Wayne who each pull in a ridiculous $3 million a year.
The streaming company also notes that they account for under 7% of radio listening in the U.S., so these numbers could still balloon. Westergren adds, ""Since Pandora accounts for just 6.53% of all radio listening in the U.S., it seems fundamentally unfair that other forms of radio that represent much larger shares of U.S. radio listening pay substantially less to artists."