Damon Krukowski of the band Galaxie 500 writes for Pitchfork:
Galaxie 500’s “Tugboat”, for example, was played 7,800 times on Pandora that quarter, for which its three songwriters were paid a collective total of 21 cents, or seven cents each. Spotify pays better: For the 5,960 times “Tugboat” was played there, Galaxie 500’s songwriters went collectively into triple digits: $1.05 (35 cents each).
I knew artists weren’t getting much from Spotify or Pandora, but that’s a pathetic paycheque.
These streaming services don’t have an analog in the analogue world, though. Radio doesn’t pay the artist for each time someone tunes in, and records can be played many times for the same flat rate. Even though this is uncharted territory, I think the one thing we can agree on is that these figures are simply far too low.