The new musical landscape is changing almost daily for artists. Just last week, we wrote about how songwriters aren’t making a ton of cash from streaming services, and a sobering article about how indie band Grizzly Bear – with a #7 album and headlining Radio City Music Hall – still struggles to make ends meet is almost enough to make a musician lay down their guitar. However, information is coming out that suggests that not only are artists making more money from online plays than they might think, but artists’ compensation for online streaming may continue to grow at a consistent rate.
Spotify and Pandora are the two biggest streaming services, even though they’re different. Spotify is on-demand, giving you access to your own library and whatever other music while Pandora is essentially a radio station. An insightful article on Hypebot sheds some light on not only what streaming articles are like, but where they could go. While that Pitchfork article claimed that Galaxie 500 was paid .005 cents per stream, they were actually paid .005 dollars, or half a cent per stream. And the article points out that if someone buys a track on iTunes, the owner of the master gets 70 cents for a download. That’s it. But if someone keeps listening to the song, that’s a half a cent every time. And if you weren’t going to shell out $1.29 to buy a song, the artist is still getting a half a cent.
The article looks at Matisyahu, who’s “Sunshine” single was streamed 291,391 times over the last three months, earning him $1569.11. That’s not bad, and given that Spotify is still new and can continue to grow, making that amount of money just off of one song is pretty impressive.
Meanwhile, music video streaming service Vevo, which represents all four major labels, announced yesterday that the service has paid $200 million out to artists in the last three years. While that’s not an overwhelming amount given that thousands of artists it’s shared between, it’s still a nice sign of progress. That probably hasn’t paid out the cost of most of those artist’s videos, but if they’re getting spun on Spotify and Pandora, then there are two more streams of revenue. Nobody said that being a musician was easy, and it’s not like anyone’s going to get rich overnight. But with monetizing online streaming in its relative infancy, there’s plenty of room to go up.