How Much Does A Songwriter Earn When Pandora Plays His Song 1.16 Million Times?

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  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,931
    [quote author=mr_crowley link=topic=15543.msg236521#msg236521 date=1376921263]


    The music consumption has never been bigger - and isn't that, at the end of the day, the point. That people listen and enjoy your art? :036:
    [/quote]

    That's the ideal. But (at least here in America, I don't know about Europe) musicians often end up having to pay big for everything involved in recording, and find their dreams smashed when they don't have enough revenue to release said music. I was barely on track to releasing my next album, when a family tragedy squashed that for an extended time. That album contains by far the best writing and playing I've ever done (I realize that isn't saying much in my case), plus some of the career best performances by outstanding musicians I've worked with.

    It's heartbreaking, but that's the way it goes. I accept it now, and am much better just having a "do it because I love it" attitude. However, that doesn't change the fact that I have nearly a double cd's worth of music that is in cold storage for another year.
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,931
    Please forgive my complaining, very embarrassed.
  • Unfortunately, Sweden will never be a microcosm of what's going on in the rest of the world, musically. It is very much its own little world.
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • JoebuddhaJoebuddha Posts: 2,129
    I have to say that it is completely disheartening but not surprising.
    Using Awaken as an example they're signed to an independent label but in order to get signed they had to give away 50% of the publishing on all songs.
    Plus given the fact that it's a European label and they are an American band the label has no way of helping them in any way.
    The label will may not be willing to kick in money for the recording of the follow up.
    Also every single gig that we did where we opened for a bigger band, Queensryche, Lynch Mob, etc. Has been completely Pay To Play.
    I think the Queensryche gig cost them about 3 Grand to do and I know they didn't make that much back in merch.
    It's a tough life being a musician in the 21st Century. I tell my students all the time that they should become electricians, plumbers, carpenters, or contractors or some other job that can't be outsourced to another country and just play for fun.
    At this point honestly I wish that's what I had done.
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,931
    [quote author=Joebuddha link=topic=15543.msg236683#msg236683 date=1377181298]

    It's a tough life being a musician in the 21st Century. I tell my students all the time that they should become electricians, plumbers, carpenters, or contractors or some other job that can't be outsourced to another country and just play for fun.
    At this point honestly I wish that's what I had done.
    [/quote]


    I know, I didn't foresee how little benefit there really is in being a musician. I don't regret it, in fact I'm grateful I was actually able to live off it for several months.

    I also count myself as both smart and lucky I didn't burn any bridges, I was able to come back to my menial computer job after the real wave of sales died down. It was then that I fully realized the hideous plight of musicians today, getting ripped off by an overseas distributor (Yesterrock) didn't help either.

    Ive found that I love just simply playing guitar, writing, and listening to new cds and music way better than making cds. During my first album I spent far too much time practically begging people to buy the music; this next cd I've granted myself so much more freedom in so many ways, most importantly a lack of care in regard to selling the music. I'm telling people right off they won't like at least the majority of the album due to the more experimental and dissonant parts; heck, I've even gone out of my way to dissuade many of the Purple Rainbow Scorpions fans that follow my news from putting money into it for those reasons.

    I have to work for a living, so music is a hobby. I think it is for the great majority of musicians in this hemisphere these days.

    Plumbers...now there's some money :wink:.
  • Plumbers...now there's some money
    Yeah, and if you find a good one, hang on to him like grim death!  But I digress . . .


    There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs when you try to turn your art into your profession. Doesn't matter whether you are a performer, a painter, a writer. Whatever it is, IT BECOMES WORK.  And unfortunately, except for a very small percentage of the lucky few, making art just doesn't pay well.

    I too, continue to encourage youngsters to get an education and acquire a more bankable skill than musician.  Keep your art as a passion for as long as you can. If making GOOD money with your art is meant to be, it will still happen. But if you're among the 99.9% of us where it probably WON'T happen, you won't end up hating your art (think wedding band) while you try to eek out a living.
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • yngwie666yngwie666 Posts: 6,557
    [quote author=Dinosaur David B link=topic=15543.msg236688#msg236688 date=1377185792]
    Plumbers...now there's some money
    Yeah, and if you find a good one, hang on to him like grim death!  But I digress . . .
    [/quote]
    I have just paid my plumber the equivalent money of 5 hours of drums lessons for a 40mn plumbing job...But I cannot complain because he actually came when I called !
    It makes me cringe when I see pro musicians of DRG struggling while some famous rappers and DJ making tons of money just sampling James Brown.
    JoeBuddha, I was listening to Awaken this morning in my car and I was thinking that you are fucking good (and this is true, honestly not because of this thread). So if even if you decide to change  job and start making big bucks fixing taps, I can tell you at least you are in the top of the game in your art (and this from a hobbyist who knows at least a bit about guitar playing).  :up: :up:
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,931
    [quote author=yngwie666 link=topic=15543.msg236692#msg236692 date=1377189808]

    JoeBuddha, I was listening to Awaken this morning in my car and I was thinking that you are fucking good (and this is true, honestly not because of this thread). So if even if you decide to change  job and start making big bucks fixing taps, I can tell you at least you are in the top of the game in your art (and this from a hobbyist who knows at least a bit about guitar playing).  :up: :up:
    [/quote]

    +1 and yeah, Joe is a killer player.


    I remember being both angry and defensive years ago when I read a prominent player (whom shall remain nameless) saying something like "why can't people just simply listen to music...you know, to just enjoy it for what it is? Why do so many feel as though that's not enough? Sometimes what you feel isn't inspiration, it's just appreciation. Don't confuse the two, and don't clog up the business with what's more often than not going to be either a rehash or an ineptly produced load of crap?"

    These days I still feel a little ugly when I read that...but then I wonder :hmm:



    Nah, that ain't gonna stop me from doing what I want to do, screw 'im :metal:
  • yngwie666yngwie666 Posts: 6,557
    [quote author=Haffner link=topic=15543.msg236693#msg236693 date=1377189949]
    I remember being both angry and defensive years ago when I read a prominent player (whom shall remain nameless) saying something like "why can't people just simply listen to music...you know, to just enjoy it for what it is? Why do so many feel as though that's not enough? Sometimes what you feel isn't inspiration, it's just appreciation. Don't confuse the two, and don't clog up the business with what's more often than not going to be either a rehash or an ineptly produced load of crap?"

    These days I still feel a little ugly when I read that...but then I wonder :hmm:

    Nah, that ain't gonna stop me from doing what I want to do, screw 'im :metal:
    [/quote]
    Well I my case I don't play in a band, I don't make records so there's no harm for the pros. It's rather the opposite as I buy music, concert tickets, merch, signature gear, etc...The problem is today it's a bit too easy to record something and access people on the internet  (or it appears so) than in the old days when a band was known through word of mouth or because of specialized magazines.
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,931
    [quote author=yngwie666 link=topic=15543.msg236699#msg236699 date=1377191642]
    [quote author=Haffner link=topic=15543.msg236693#msg236693 date=1377189949]
    I remember being both angry and defensive years ago when I read a prominent player (whom shall remain nameless) saying something like "why can't people just simply listen to music...you know, to just enjoy it for what it is? Why do so many feel as though that's not enough? Sometimes what you feel isn't inspiration, it's just appreciation. Don't confuse the two, and don't clog up the business with what's more often than not going to be either a rehash or an ineptly produced load of crap?"

    These days I still feel a little ugly when I read that...but then I wonder :hmm:

    Nah, that ain't gonna stop me from doing what I want to do, screw 'im :metal:
    [/quote]
    Well I my case I don't play in a band, I don't make records so there's no harm for the pros. It's rather the opposite as I buy music, concert tickets, merch, signature gear, etc...The problem is today it's a bit too easy to record something and access people on the internet  (or it appears so) than in the old days when a band was known through word of mouth or because of specialized magazines.

    [/quote]


    I agree, yngwie666.  At the same time I'm torn, because I want people to see their dreams come true. It's really a polarizing subject.
  • The problem is today it's a bit too easy to record something and access people on the internet  (or it appears so) than in the old days when a band was known through word of mouth or because of specialized magazines.
    Yeah, but that's an issue that goes both ways. When I was in an original band in the 80s, we payed a lot of money to record 2 songs in a professional studio (getting far worse results than I get now), then we had cassettes made, photos taken, and sent them off as a press kit into the black hole, unsolicited. We had to look up the addresses of record labels and such at the library, and all I ever envisioned in this scenario was my cassette sitting on secretary's desk or trash can in a pile of others that would never be heard. We'd have been lucky to even get rejection letters back, and I don't recall that we did. And the unit cost of each press kit factoring in the studio time, photography, paper and postage added up to over $20 each if memory serves.

    These days, with a little digging, you can find the email addresses of loads of decision-makers in all areas of the biz for free, and if you are clever and savvy enough in your approach, they will read your email, and click on the link that plays your music. The problem is that because it is SO much easier now, millions MORE people are doing the same thing, so the decision makers are still inundated, and the chances of a bite is still small.

    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Using Awaken as an example they're signed to an independent label but in order to get signed they had to give away 50% of the publishing on all songs.
    I assume this doesn't affect you, Joe, because they never gave you a piece of the songwriting pie anyway, right?

    If that is true,
    and since you are no longer with them,
    allow me to say to the remaining members and songwriters of AWAKEN:

    image
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,931
    [quote author=Dinosaur David B link=topic=15543.msg236704#msg236704 date=1377195293]
    Using Awaken as an example they're signed to an independent label but in order to get signed they had to give away 50% of the publishing on all songs.
    I assume this doesn't affect you, Joe, because they never gave you a piece of the songwriting pie anyway, right?

    If that is true,
    and since you are no longer with them,
    allow me to say to the remaining members and songwriters of AWAKEN:

    image
    [/quote]


    You rule, Dave.
  • Now HERE is an interesting read:
    http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/nate-silver-the-model-for-tomorrows-musical-acts-1200586066/

    Reproduced below with text I bolded myself
    --------------------------

    Nate Silver: The Model for Tomorrow’s Musical Acts

    Unlike today’s adolescents dominating the YouTube, SoundScan story, Silver wasn’t born yesterday, as in he’s got a history. Not only is he educated, he did stuff before the “Times,” which signed him and where he ended up so successful he pissed everybody off.

    Now if the New York Times had a television network, then it might have had a chance to keep Silver. But the paper couldn’t compete with the ABC/ESPN duality. As for print? Who needs it, when you’ve got the Web? Yes, Silver walked with his FiveThirtyEight.com domain, he’s the star, not the paper.

    And this goes against everything we’ve learned in mass media for eons. This is the oldster’s worst nightmare. Because suddenly, talent is doing it for itself.

    This is the story of Arcade Fire. Personally, I don’t love their music, but enough people do. Same deal with Nate Silver. Not everybody knows his name, but enough do. That’s the goal. To amass your audience and triumph.

    That’s what you could never do before. Build and own your audience. You were dependent upon middlemen. This is what is wrong with the major label model of today, they take all your money and give you very little in return, telling you that without radio and their relationships at retail, you just can’t succeed. If Silver can succeed without the Times, can’t you without a label?

    Let’s start at the beginning. Not everybody is as talented as Nate Silver. Yes, I know you hate that, you were taught by your parents that you were great and if you just believed in yourself you would succeed, but this is categorically untrue.

    And as stated earlier, success is dependent upon education and hard work, something that’s abhorred in Snookiville. Today’s wannabe musicians can make great YouTube videos, and social network and spam you to death, but they rarely make great music.

    You always start off far from the radar screen. That’s what today’s wannabe musicians don’t get. Recognition comes LAST! Be happy to play the gig most people don’t go to, that’s where you hone your chops.

    And ask for more. This is what people hate about the Eagles, their confidence and their demands, their desire to do it their way. People would rather drag you down into the hole they’re in, they want you to apologize and make like you’re just like them. But I’m certainly not a statistics whiz like Nate Silver and I doubt you are either.

    Nate didn’t want to be pigeonholed, he did not want to be limited to the niche the Times gave him. This is no different from an act telling the label they don’t want to co-write, they don’t want advice; they just want to do it their way. But unlike today’s musicians, Nate Silver was willing to walk.

    Now granted, Silver did not go totally independent, unlike the delusional Andrew Sullivan, who believed that by tapping his audience for cash, he’d grow instead of being marginalized. In other words, there’s no harm in selling your wares to the highest bidder … as long as it is done on your terms, not theirs.

    So where does this leave us?

    On the cusp of new superstars. Soon we’ll have more Arcade Fires, and some of them will have mass appeal.

    Talent is finally king, because distribution is free.

    But in order to truly be king you have to believe in yourself and play by your own rules.

    And if you’re a label, and you wanna ensnare a superstar?

    Offer him exposure in all venues.

    Cut him a great deal.

    And know that he’s boss.

    If you’re not kissing the ass of talent, if you’re not giving it all it wants and deserves, you’re destined for the scrapheap.

    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • And going back to what we were discussing earlier, if you ARE doing this for your hobby and passion, and making your money elsewhere, there is no reason to accept a sucky deal.
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
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