In yet another painful reminder that I should’ve become a rapper, Pandora has reportedly been paying acts like Lil’ Wayne and Drake $3 million each just because you and your cousins blast their music so much via the service to get through the day.

Let Pandora run back that report while I ask someone online to run me some tracks:

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 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. For top earners like ColdplayAdeleWiz Khalifa, Jason Aldean and others Pandora is already paying over $1 million eachDrake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.

This revenue stream is meaningful. I remember the many years I spent in a band when earning an additional thousand dollars a month would have been the difference between making music an avocation and a hobby. We’re talking here about the very real possibility of creating, for the first time ever, an actual musicians middle class.


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