the understatement: Pandora Paid Over $1,300 for 1 Million Plays, Not $16.89

David Lowery’s “My Song Got Played On Pandora 1 Million Times and All I Got Was $16.89″ article has been picked up over and over and over, including by very respectable folks, often without comment.

This has left many readers with two impressions:

  • Pandora only paid $16.89 for 1 million plays.
  • Pandora pays much lower royalty rates than Sirius XM and especially terrestrial AM/FM radio.

Music royalties are complex, but both of these are patently untrue.

[…]

None of this means Pandora ought to pay less in royalties. On the contrary, it seems quite likely that others should be paying more. And perhaps the non-artists involved in the transaction shouldn’t be taking 53% of the total for their services. But attacking Pandora with intentionally misleading statistics just undermines the credibility of the argument.

via the understatement: Pandora Paid Over $1,300 for 1 Million Plays, Not $16.89.

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