Who says there's no money in the music business...

I snatched this bit from a group I belong to in Canada… Incredible…


These figures require no explanation. They illustrate why the current state of the of the music business requires that creators organize and band together as much as possible.

Here’s what Pandora paid the following people for the year 2013 (source: Morningstar, SEC filings):

I. The Executives.

Brian McAndrews, CEO: $29,167,388
Joseph Kennedy, former CEO: $9,336,760
Michael S. Herring, CFO: $8,445,668
Thomas Conrad, CTO: $4,945,757
John Trimble, Chief Revenue Officer: $3,568,485
Tim Westergren, founder: $11,685,277

II. The Artists.

Bette Midler: $456.44
David Lowery (Cracker): $67.56
Ellen Shipley, hit songwriter: $158.41
Aretha Franklin: $0
Elvis Presley estate: $0
The Temptations: $0
(top three self-reported, bottom three based on Pandora payout policies for older artists)

Ok, I’m with ya!

Everybody, buy my album in protest!

My dad once told me that the folks who really got rich during the
‘gold rush’ were those who sold the picks and shovels.

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So the rip off’s continue…

This injustice will continue as long for as the looters can get away with pilfering intellectual property without compensating the owners.

This injustice will continue as long for as the looters can get away with leveraging performance rights, copyrights, and catalog ownership from writers/composers for paltry (or no) compensation.

This injustice will continue as long for as the looters can get away with controlling the airwaves/internet audio streaming through cronyism, and prevent competition from other media outlets and artists. Every government is complicit in this by controlling the licensing of the airwaves, grossly inflating the cost of broadcasting and raising a barrier to market entry; thus stifling/eliminating competition.

This injustice will continue as long for as the looters can get away with thieving the intellectual property of creators, to give to the thieving public who prefer to suffer insulting advertising than to pay for the music they consume. The advertisers are also thieves, and complicit, since they use the attraction of the music to access consumers they can hock their wares to.

Are ya’ll thoroughly disenchanted with the “music biz” yet? You should be.

Traditionally the powerless (us) obtain power by organizing. Only then can terms be established that favour musicians. This means every musician in the world has to agree to sign on to the ‘new order’. Sound goofy? Maybe… Or maybe not.

The point is that musicians can only create an equitable environment en masse. This requires organization, discipline and the realization that everyone swims or sinks together.

There’s no point bitching about it because we’re responsible for our fate. If we’d rather have those zillions flowing to musicians rather than corporate psychos let’s do something about it.

If, on the other hand, we’re all too busy making music that never generates a dime but makes us feel good then let’s just leave it at that and have fun.

Unfortunately there is no middle ground. We’re all in or we’re all out…

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All unionization achieves is to concentrate power in the hands of the union bosses. Traditionally, that does not lead to an equitable solution. On the contrary, it creates a new monster.

There is no solution. The corruption is too deeply entrenched. Music is a viable career for only a select few, and those willing to prostitute themselves in service to the machine. There are no grand, sweeping solutions that can swing the paradigm towards equity and fairness (whatever that is). Unionization will not do it. The best any of us “independent artists” can hope for is to build relationships with people who will trade some means-of-exchange (money, barter, services) for a good (music, live performance) they place a value on.

Both sides of an exchange must benefit, and both must deliver their service/payment ethically (without cheating), for free-enterprise to work. Any intrusion from government, or unions, will interfere with the free-exchange; the end-result of that interference being exactly what we suffer with now.

Read (and understand) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

I am no expert on Libertarianism but I do believe that peasantry is in part the result of people acting against their own best interests. Embracing a philosophy which venerates the self against all else is myopic and serves only the powerful. A balance between my needs and those of my society is fundamental to a healthy civility. I pay my taxes and obey laws because I recognize the value they provide. If and when my government(s) engage in tyranny I have the freedom to elect someone else to represent my interests. I sense that many Americans have no faith or trust in their governance which, in many ways, is like this debate. I say that a collective effort can change things for the better and you say there is no point in trying because it will all end in tears and corruption anyway. I for one do not wish to live in a world where the prevailing thesis is every man for himself. Like it or not, we need each other. The alternative is chaos.

You misunderstand.

Selflessness (altruism) is peasantry, and serves only the powerful.

Selfishness, in the absence of personal responsibility, morality, and ethics is as corrupt as is altruism. Selfishness balanced by personal responsibility, morality and ethics is the ONLY way to avoid chaos. Unless, of course, you belong to the most reviled and abused minorities that ever existed: the self-reliant, virtuous, and ethical individual. Then you’re plowed under by the great machine.

There is a world of difference between the “ideal man” of Ayn Rand, and your “every man for himself” construct. Neither I, nor Ayn Rand, ever advocated “every man for himself”.

What she advocated was: I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Interesting stuff to be sure. I don’t know what the answer is and perhaps there is none. What I do know is that as long as people act alone against massive forces marshalled against them they have little hope of realizing their goals. MLK without the broader civil rights movement would have been a voice in the wilderness – Mandela, Gandhi, Moses – You name it. Freedom comes from both individual and collective determination and sacrifice. I don’t understand Ayn Rand well enough to know whether certain forms of collectivism are inimical to libertarianism. My reading of the passage you posted is unclear in this regard.

I have solved this problem for myself a long, long time ago.

  1. I treat music as a hobby - a hobby which I spend a lot of money and time into
  2. My “payment” is to create, to travel around, to meet people and to have people enjoy what I created
  3. I never expected nor got money for my music, even though I have sold albums worldwide - I just don’t care about income from music
  4. I have a daytime job which I like and which pays the bills and for music (including Cubase updates, time and again)

To be honest, the hassle connected to the EUR 2,50 one could possibly earn per year selling albums is simply not worth it, just be a hobbyist who travels a bit and behaves like a rockstar, time and again. Thats all there is.

Yes, I’m signed, but this is only for one reason: I can pop out albums and play larger shows than an unsigned artist. Money? :laughing:

So howcome Pandora can collect money on an artist behalf and then just keep(steal) it for themselves? did the artists sign a contract that says “yes you can steal all monies due to me” or what?
what they’re doing is surely illegal…
and can just anyone set up a “collecting money for artists” company?


The entire ‘music publishing industry’ could stand some light shed on it.


this is very funny but also very sad!!

The thing that musicians need to understand about the music industry is that the people who distribute the product hold all the cards. The only way to share any of this revenue is to become part of the distribution.



Seems like a good way to look at things! :thumbsup:


inequality is just as necessary to create diversity as it is a source for anger.
From the very poor people in third world countries who will probably never have enough funds to buy cubase or even be online on the forum, to those dj’s who earn thousands of dollars just for pushing some buttons and probably never will read this on the forum, everything inbetween is looking towards this inequality from it’s own perspective.
I agree that the extremes should be softened as much as possible, but the first thing you will have difficulty with is a correct definition of when inequallity is “too much”. Everybody will define this in a different way.

kind regards,

Art vs. Commerce = Trouble. Always has and always will. :frowning: