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Why Is Pandora Paying Up? [Episode # 04]

When you think of Pandora what are the first things that come to mind?

Perhaps it’s a bracelet with charms that indicate the months of the year your child’s birthday. Or perhaps the name Pandora brings to mind a mythical box, which when unlocked anything from any dimension is possible and plausible.

However, the Pandora that I would like to address comes in the form of a music streaming service that perhaps hasn’t had the greatest reputation when it comes to artist royalties. But just like the bracelet that cleverly reminds you of the existence of your offspring, Pandora is changing the way they remember the importance of an artist's creative contribution.

So, without further ado, let’s talk about the old artist payout vs. the newly revised streaming rate for artists, and then perhaps we can all collectively make an educated decision about if the Pandora business better benefits, not only the users and subscribers, but the content creators as well.

Let’s start with the old payout model, which was a topic of conversation for artists and PRO’s alike, but not always for the best reasons. Here is the breakdown. Pandora offered a $0.0014/per stream for non-substreams (714 streams=$1.00) $0.0025/ per stream for substreams. (400 streams=$1.00)

However, after much debate between the streaming service and the PRO’s, and even a conversation that was spearheaded and brought in front of a subcommittee in Congress regarding the Songwriter's Equity Act (SEA) and consent decree, Pandora did a little adjusting.

Perhaps a little is an understatement as we at Musik !D TV found this payout adjustment to be the most radical out of all the streaming services. As well as 150% royalty increase!

(drum roll) Pandora’s current royalty pay-out is (non-subscription: $0.17/ per stream) / (subscription rate: $0.22/per stream) = $0.176/ per stream- (5.6 streams=$1.00) (songwriter) $0.0352/per stream- (28 streams = $1.00).


Well, with this new streaming rate and royalty payout for artists and writers it is a very real possibility that given a large number of streams, let’s say, you’re an emerging artist and have a very accessible and realistic number of 150,000 streams; you could walk away with making $26,400.

Those numbers weren’t even being thought of in the minds of artists and creatives a few years ago. But it honestly just goes to show you, there is proof that you can make money and sustain your passions in today’s streaming climate. Also remember, that’s only 150,000 streams on Pandora, which most likely if you are receiving that kind of numbers on one platform, you are sure to have some coin coming to you in other streaming services as well (cha-ching!) But remember, the only way you can collect on this loot is having your music/work registered through the SoundExchange, as Pandora exclusively only deals with them.


While Pandora is making some MAJOR adjustments on the publishing rights royalty side, and boasting a substantial revenue of 1.6 Billion, they have still fallen short of their yearly goal of 170 million.

So to close the gap on that loss, Pandora will be introducing a brand new on-demand streaming service in 2016 for paid subscribers costing $10 a month.

Pandora has also notably made further moves in rehashing and reshaping their relationships with the major music publishers, Sony ATV, Warner, and Universal (the BIG 3) striking up exclusive deals to better suit the PRO’s wants and desires. How thoughtful, ya know?

But the major question is, is it enough to bring the company named after the metaphor of opening and bringing every dimension or imaginative thought into existence, back to the forefront of the streaming world. Or will they just be another charm on a bracelet that will serve as a constant reminder of what could have been? Sorry kids, we’ll just have to wait and see.





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