It Ain’t Right

One of my favourite songs a couple of years back was the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I was grieving the death of my father who died at the age of 91 of Alzheimers just before than and that song just perked me up out of my gloom.  I even wrote a post about it on my I Like Songs blog.  Well, I didn’t write much, I just wanted to feature it.

It’s no surprise that the song was an enormous hit.

What IS a surprise is an article I read just recently about the income it generated from Pandora.  There were 43 million streams.  And what did it earn?  A measly $2700.  Yes, to some of you $2700 sounds like a lot of money.  But 43 million streams?

This is why I removed my music from all of the music streaming services more than a year ago. Granted, I wouldn’t have expected to have 43 million streams, but I did expect to be fairly compensated for the streams I DID have, and that wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

Then I did a little research just for my own satisfaction.  It costs $4.99 a year to join Pandora at the time of this writing.  Let’s just round that up to $5.  A website I stumbled across listed 37 “interesting” Pandora statistics, and they listed about 76.5 million active Pandora listeners.  That comes to about $382.5 million bucks.  But wait.  There are actually 250 million subscribers, so Pandora is making $1.25 BILLION a year.

So who is getting all that money?

There have been countless other articles lately bemoaning music streaming services, so I’m not going to tell you anything new here.  Those of us who grew up on radio got used to the idea of it being “free”.  Well, it wasn’t really free, it was just paid for by somebody else.  Advertisers paid radio stations to run their ads, and radio stations paid PRO’s (performer rights organizations) to play their artists’ songs.  Why shouldn’t music streaming services pay the same per play?  I don’t understand why fair pay was not implemented at the very beginning.

The fact is that it is really difficult to explain to non-musicians that artists and bands need to be fairly compensated for their work.  All music lovers want is free music.

But it is not hard to explain to a music streaming service that they should be giving a much larger slice of the pie to the people who created their content.  And no, that doesn’t mean charging listeners more.  It simply means not giving so much to the fat, belching CEO’s who could care less about the music.

Okay, rant over.