Drake and Lil Wayne Make Almost $3 Million Each Year From Pandora

Posted Oct 10, 2012

Pandora founder Tim Westergren has responded to critics that said that musicians make very little money from music streaming services.  Some artists make as much as $3 million per year.  Mr. Westergren said that the “revenue stream is meaningful.”

?For over two thousand artists, Pandora will pay over $10,000 dollars each over the next 12 months (including one of my favorites, the late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson), and for more than 800 we?ll pay over $50,000, more than the income of the average American household,? said Mr. Westergren. ?We?re talking here about the very real possibility of creating, for the first time ever, an actual musicians middle class.?

Pandora pays artists like Adele, Coldplay, and Wiz Khalifa over $1 million each year.  Drake and Lil Wayne make almost $3 million each year from Pandora.  Last month Pandora wanted people to support the Internet Radio Fairness Act, which is a bill introduced in U.S. Congress, which would make royalties almost as high as terrestrial and satellite radio.

?Since Pandora accounts for just 6.53% of all radio listening in the U.S., it seems fundamentally unfair that other forms of radio that represent much larger shares of U.S. radio listening pay substantially less to artists,? said Westergren in regards to the bill. ?Congress must stop the discrimination against internet radio and allow it to operate on a level playing field, under the same rules as other forms of digital radio.?