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It Turns Out Bands Make Basically Nothing From SPOTIFY & PANDORA Streaming Fees

In today's marketplace, it's a constant struggle for bands to find new ways to make income. We've discussed previously that bands don't really make money off touring Recently, it seemed the way to profit would be to make your music available on streaming services.

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We've discussed streaming rates previously, and it all seemed hunky dory, but a new post on Metal Insider suggests otherwise.

They found this Pitchfork article, in which 80s alternative band Galaxie 500, who broke up a long time ago, discuss how much they make it back royalties for their catalogue:

My BMI royalty check arrived recently, reporting songwriting earnings from the first quarter of 2012, and I was glad to see that our music is being listened to via these services. 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). To put this into perspective: Since we own our own recordings, by my calculation it would take songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one–one– LP sale. (On Spotify, one LP is equivalent to 47,680 plays.)

Now you might be saying, what about people who make hit records? They are not that rich either.

Ellen Shipley co-wrote the 1987 Belinda Carlisle hit “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” She recently wrote to Digital Music News about Pandora. Over the last three months, that song was spun 3.1 million times on the service. Her cut as one of the two writers? $39.61. Granted, she’s only a cowriter, and didn’t perform the song, but that’s an alarmingly low rate.

Yikes! Could it be that these two particular cases are just badly negotiated deals? Where is all the money going?

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