Re: My Song Was Played 3.1 Million Times on Pandora. My Check Was $39...
Pandora is one of the best ways to discover new music. With the consolidation of terrestrial radio under a few major companies, Pandora is in many ways a boon for artists who are having trouble spreading the word about their music. If Ellen's song is being played over 3 million times, it's a safe bet that some of those listeners liked the song enough to then go buy it (presumably not a majority, but it likely won some people over). So in the end, the only real way to judge how much money these plays made for her is to include the amount of money she earned from sales of the song that were the result of a discovery on Pandora. Obviously such a figure isn't available, but it would help shed some light on the real economics here.
It's really unfortunate that artists may have to take a royalty cut from internet radio streams, but the other option -- a world without pandora -- seems to be a worse option.