As businesses, Pandora and Spotify are divorced from music. To me, it’s a short logical step to observe that they are doing nothing for the business of music — except undermining the simple cottage industry of pressing ideas onto vinyl, and selling them for more than they cost to manufacture.Alternative rocker Damon Krukowski • Discussing how his 90s-era bands, Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi, have struggled to make any money of note from Spotify and Pandora. In fact, in the most recent quarter, “Pandora paid a total of $64.17 for use of the entire Galaxie 500 catalogue,” he explains, which splits to roughly 33 cents per song per member for the entire catalog. Krukowski’s in an interesting spot — one where the band he’s best known for has a cult audience, but perhaps not one large enough to sustain a high number of listens. Which is no fun for the band, because they need 47,680 listens on Spotify — or 312,000 plays on Pandora — to earn the equivalent earnings they’d get from one album sale.
Want to get attention for your music? Find a clever way to get noticed on YouTube. And make sure it involves iPhones. And possibly subway cars. That’s what the four dudes of NYC band Atomic Tom did, and it’s worked out pretty well for them in the last two days (200,000+ views). If we were these guys, we’d probably just ditch the instruments altogether and keep doing stuff like this, because they’re insanely good at it.