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



  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,653
    On the other hand, everytime I meet someone and mention I am in a band and say: "You can check us out on Spotify if you'll like".
    They log onto Spotify and put us into one of their playlist and occassionaly these people shows up at a show or something. I think you gain fans if you're easy to get access to. If I can't find the songs of a band in one search on Spotify and YouTube I usually ditch the idea of them and move on.. Kinda sad but that is how I (and I guess many others) work :036:

    And I rather have 50 people at our show only listening to us through Spotify than 10 that have actually bought our album...
  • Yes, but if some of those 50 people buy your album, you'll make more than if those same people stream you on Spotify.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • This is a bummer for all musicians, that they will likely never make a dime, at something they are very talented at.
    Have been a musician and seen it go from paying well, to pay to play
    I am sure the time frame is different for for different places but for me it was:
    80's clubs payed amazingly well, acted like you were human and catered to the bands some what
    90's early on were the cheaper and cheaper gigs, then the pay to play scene started to happen, late 90's pay to play and fewer clubs to do it in
    In the early 90's almost had a record deal w geffen, but then the nirvana thing was really getting huge and all labels made change of direction bottom line: rock, hard rock and metal were out, grunge was in
    My son now is in a band, he writes, records, plays guitar, keyboards, ( quite good on the producer / production thing ) and is a fantastic drummer ( he plays drums when they gig ) and expects to make it big
    My thoughts are ( even though I have always, and always will, encourage him and the boys ) that its a very very very long shot at best
    He dosent even realize that it is pay to play!!!
    He thinks selling tickets and then giving the money to the club is how its supposed to be!!! Yikes!!
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,653
    [quote author=Dinosaur David B link=topic=15543.msg242840#msg242840 date=1389300799]
    Yes, but if some of those 50 people buy your album, you'll make more than if those same people stream you on Spotify.

    Very true.

    What I mean though is that for a small bands, like those we are in, the money we would make on selling records is quite small so the exposure and accessibility that the streaming means far outweighs the loss of money.

    Say you're on a festival bill. Say it is even quite big, like 30 000 people coming (that is HUGE by Swedish standards though...). You're playing an pretty early set at a small stage about 2PM. Some people will surely just walk by and give you a shot and maybe a few are hooked.
    Others, like me, check out bands before the festival on Spotify and YouTube ('cause buying 15 albums when maybe 5 of them are good is just right down stupid) if I like I make sure to catch them at their 2PM slot.
    Then I rave about them and go to their next club show buy a t-shirt and a vinyl copy of their album... Still they have made quite a few bucks off me, probably I have been able to drag along two friends as well that maybe buy one shirt each.
    People ready to buy 15 albums by chance I would say are maybe 0,5 out of 100. People checking out stuff on Spotify beforehand is maybe 10/100. Say that every third person likes you.
    Say that out of those 30,000 you already had 500 fans. That leaves you with 29500 people, if they had to BUY your album about 49 people would end up at your show (0,5/100 * 29500 / 3).
    Streaming would generate 983 people (10/100 * 29500 / 3).
    I know - this are just numbers I am grabbing out of thin air but I don't view them as unlikely in any way.
    Say that 983 people rave about you and drag two friends each to your next show, ain't gonna be at a club :wink:

    But that is just what I think :036:
    I don't know how it worked in the glory days so maybe I just don't understand how badly fucked we are by these companies...
  • Dr NickDr Nick Posts: 3,701
    I think one big difference is that "back in the day" there was the possibility of making a living as a recording artist in a band.
    Nowadays what money there is tends to be more in playing live and merchandising.

    And this applies to established artists too - I doubt Iron Maiden make much from new material, they probably get far more from their tours, for example.
    But they have a smart businessman as a manager, a long-term business plan, and do fine.

    Tough world out there...
  • the exposure and accessibility that the streaming means far outweighs the loss of money.
    That is a judgement a lot of acts make. But to achieve any significant exposure (i.e. thousands or tens of thousands) requires some other factors, such as professional PR campaigns, song placements in media advertising, etc.

    And I agree with you, that I'm far more likely to check out someone new on Spotify than by buying their album. Sadly, this is even true now of bands I like. For example, Black Sabbath 13. I checked it out on Spotify, and had I liked it, I normally would have bought it to support them. But I didn't, so they actually lost a sale because of streaming. And FWIW, I think I only streamed it twice to confirm I didn't like it.

    New bands have even less of a shot with me. I will check them out on Spotify, but unless I'm blown away (which almost NEVER happens) I move on quickly.  For example, I love The Blue Van, and after hearing them on Spotify, I picked up two of their albums.  I thought Rival Sons were pretty good, and streamed them for about a week during the summer, but never bought their music.

    So the band has had it's exposure to me, but they didn't make money on me.  They could achieve that with YouTube without getting raped by Spotify.

    In the pre streaming days, they would get a little less exposure, and I might have to take a chance buying an album -- or these days, a track.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.

  • I wonder if the streaming model will go the way that sports has.

    You could end up with 95% of the Artists working from Global streaming enterprises like Rhapsody, Spotify etc, whilst the big guys handle their own streaming service and charge a little bit more for it.

    So Metallica Streaming could start up and charge 5 cents a play.  Assuming they make around $2 for every CD they sell, then the break even point is 40 tracks for every user who would have bought the album, but didn't

    Big soccer clubs are doing this by having their own rights to show their own games

  • Well one interesting thing -- IMO, is that you can stream your music OR sell an E-album (AIFFs and I think artwork as well) on sites like Bandcamp for no overhead.  Your exposure will be less than you'd get with the bigger companies, but you'd pocket virtually ALL of the proceeds.  With no middlemen taking their cut. But the onus is on the band to drive people to that site.  Bedowyn are doing this, and it appeals to me for Feints as well.

    Sell ONE album for $10 and you make $10. You need 1000 plays on Spotify to make $7 -- 1430 plays to make $10.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • BytorBytor Posts: 1,689
    I just looked over the accounting for my 2 cds..

    The area covering streams :ohwell: :huh:


    Places I've never heard of! RDIO? DEEZER? Last fm? Google music store? Xbox music?

    Some actually pay a decent rate compared to the others.
    At the end of it all, 30+ pages for $82.55 :ohyeah:      :blush: :sad:

  • Interesting topic on what seems to be a broken system (probably has been for a long time now).  I was wondering though, is it possible to maintain alternative careers in music when the band thing is not generating enough income?  For example, how about being a session player? or a hired gun for another band? etc.
  • Eclipse IIEclipse II Posts: 319
    Interesting calculator that shows you how much the platforms pay per number of streams:

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