Streaming may be the next tier of music consumption, but there’s still some kinks to work out. One of them is how artists will be compensated. Even a celebrated star like Pharrell Williams hasn’t quite gotten over that hump.
Business Insider reported that Pharrell made a paltry $2,700 off 43 million plays of the Billboard-topping “Happy” on Pandora. That’s shocking especially because of how much of a phenomenon the song was during the first half of this year.
Publisher Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier, as you might guess, wasn’t pleased.
“This is a totally unacceptable situation and one that cannot be allowed to continue,” Bandier said. “We at Sony/ATV want these digital music services to be successful because they are a great way for music fans to listen to music and have the potential to generate significant new revenues for everyone. However, this success should not come at the expense of songwriters whose songs are essential for these services to exist and thrive.”
News like this give artists further reason to rail against streaming services. In addition to Taylor Swift removing her songs from Spotify, a legal group called Global Music Rights (which represents Pharrell) is threatening to sue Google $1 billion if it doesn’t take down 20,000 songs from YouTube.