After 4,175,149 Plays, Pandora Pays Bette Midler $144.21

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177 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Why is she supposed to be “rolling in the dough”? This chick doesn’t make music at a level that is palatable to the masses. For once, I’d like stats from an actual well known musician.

    Man, all these unknown ‘artists’ should get real jobs instead of — er, who did you say this was again?

      • Anonymous

        Nah, you’re not dumb — my message was.

        I stole the first lines from three nitwits in the “I’m a Grammy Nominated Artist”-thread. I made up the last one though, but it could be written by most pro-streamers.

        • The real math

          And Pandora paid $5,010.18 to SoundExchange for those plays too.

          • possesion king of sin

            Im sure of those 4 million views some of her fans decided to buy the album so she doing just fine.

          • Anonymous

            “Im sure of those 4 million views some of her fans decided to buy the album”

            Least relevant comment in this thread.

          • Cody

            I disagree. You are right, it takes exposure to make it in music as a career. I don’t know if you mommy and daddy paid for your college and living growing up, but I can tell you that it takes lots of money to be a musician. It takes money to tour, to create an album, and to afford the time you need to be out there getting exposure. She is not saying that she is depending on Pandora for her survival. She is rich, but she is showing that it kills music. Listeners are to thick to realize that these cry baby musicians have to choose between financial survival and music.

          • Drang

            I wonder how much she got paid by terrestrial radio? People keep forgetting that artist get paid $0 from terrestrial radio, yet they demand $$ for spins on internet radio. So why aren’t you complaining about Clear Channel? How much does she make from them?

          • Jason

            That is not entirely correct. There is no royalties paid to the performer for a spin on terrestrial radio, that is correct. However royalties are paid to songwriters, composers and publishers. If the artist that performs the song is also the one who wrote it he gets paid everytime it spins on the radio.

          • KANGBANGPRO


      • lisasez

        Phil… i hear you.. painful to read… laughable…. In this case … ignorance is def not bliss….

    • Blob Blefsetz

      Artists just don’t GET IT! You see, she’s never been to SWEDEN! She’s too fixated on the past and making money, she has no vision! You see, I had COFFEE with Daniel Ek in Stockholm, he understands the future. You had instant coffee alone in your North Hollywood apartment because you’re a loser.

      • Dick Weissman

        I understand the future too. No real money for artists. Real money for entrepreneurs. I hope he paid for the coffee.

        • Johan

          Yeah, ofc you do. Thats why you haven’t realized that these “entrepreneurs” have been with us since the early days in music making it in to an industry and got total domination on the market since they created it themselfs and what the future entrepreneurs is doing is finding better ways to level it out. You might not have noticed this but we are in the middle of the biggest most revolutionary time in history at this point. But go ahead, shutdown that brain and keep letting all that media rewire that shit for the “greater good of mankind”.

          I’m 25 years old and for the last 5 years I’ve just been standing with my mouth open and my heart broken because I have realized that I’m born in to a world where 99% of these so called intelligent beings are nothing but a pack of sheeps in a huge horde who think they all controll their own lives, but when they actually just are following the sheepherds instructions.

          I’m ashamed to be a part of this universe probably dumbest and most worthless civilization.

          • Anonymous

            Johan, you are right in a lot of what you say. But if you are going to call people dumb asses remember to use spell check and get your collective nouns right. It’s a flock of sheep.

            Yes the flock are asleep, and you are right to feel like a stealth fox.

      • Anonymous

        Wow…how harsh. One day when you’re 50 or older some young asshole who thinks he knows everything will say that about YOU. Having worked in the music industry for over 20 years myself, I know it’s a place of GREEDY and dishonest middlemen. This will die soon too…and IMO not soon enough.

      • Esol Esek

        If your comment is not a joke, then Sweden continues it’s swirl around the drain, from a once moral proud country. But then considering Sweden only ever generated one great band, Abba, and a lot of horrible ones, Ace of Base, it’s not surprising they need to steal music. Abba, by the way, are EXTREMELY tight with sampling their music, so some Swedes have brains.

        I think the world’s citizens should just start stealing exported products from Sweden. We can start in IKEA. They’re ripoff artists and trash peddlers, anyway.

        • Johan

          Hahahahaha!!!! Only one great band? Are you for real? Two of the worlds biggest producers are Swedish? Ever heard of Max Martin? Dennis Pop? Lol you crack me up with your comment!! Ace of base?!?!?! Haha what about Monica Zetterlund? Mando Diao? The Knife? Lykke Li? Swedish House Mafia? Avicii? ROBYN? Ceasars Palace? These are just people I got in my head in less then two minutes. Don’t ever start a discussion when your clearly not ready to handle it. You gain the same respect to me as a toddler having a tantrum.

      • jazzypaul

        GREATEST COMMENT EVER. Sadly, I think the rest of the replies missed out on the brilliant skewering of the Lefsetz letter.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      ha, Bette who? Another unknown whining artist who probably waits tables and thinks she’s entitled to royalties 😉

      Oh wait.

      • Tamara

        Unknown artist? She may not be ‘mainstream’ but she’s been a singer, actor, performer for the past 4 decades!

      • Anonymous

        Don’t blame your ignorance and lack of culture for a industry failing. She’s a long running performer, you’re just an idiot.

      • Anonymous

        Doesn’t matter if she’s mainstream or not. The point is there was more than 4 MILLION plays of her songs and she hardly got anything in royalties. If you could read, she was not complaining about herself (she’s got plenty), but for NEW and upcoming artists. Yeesh!

      • Charlie deep

        if her music is out there she is entitled to get royalties u dumb ass!

        • Ezra

          The Grateful Dead…

          Literally MILLIONS of bootleg cassettes and CDs floating around among fans… supports hundreds of their shows as well as the live shows of hundreds of other bands and musicians…

          It’s all in what you are looking to get out of it.

    • SuzyQ

      Bette Midler How can you not know who that is you moron what are you looking for a Jay-Z? Your a tool! Bette Midler is one of the best actresses (whose won Oscars) and she has done wonderful signing performances and is a great comedian as well. Also the point of her statement is that these digital radio stations don’t pay shit to artists and they play there music a bunch of times if you worked hard wouldn’t you wanna be rightfully compensated?

      • Anonymous

        Ah, come on for chrissake — it was a joke!

        Again: I stole the first lines from three nitwits in the “I’m a Grammy Nominated Artist”-thread. And I completely and totally agree with you, Ms. Midler is beyond awesome and it’s super lovely that she has the guts to open her big mouth 🙂 to support everybody who loves music.

        Was that clear enough?

          • axgrindr

            I think the wink and the “Oh Wait” should have been clear enough.

        • Dubble Up

          Excellent point(s) Anonymous . Its obvious many people skipped over the original post and where you borrowed the lines from. Some people just rush through and the eyes catch half the story ,brain fills in the rest.

    • B

      Glad I read the thread before replying to that first ‘burp’…had to be a joke…almost jumped through this wire to bop your noggin with a stupid stick…. only thing that isn’t funny is the pay Bette received for her work. Tragic…

      • Anonymous

        “almost jumped through this wire to bop your noggin with a stupid stick”

        Can’t blame you, sir.

        And nope, Ms. Midler’s pay is definitely no joke. Guess my humble point was that nobody — not even the most unknown artist — deserves to be treated like this.

    • jules

      Did you really call Bette Midler a “no-name” artist? How old are you 12?

    • smh

      To have written what you did about bette milder your either young and naive, or dumb as dirt. She was EXTREMELY palatable to the masses, several years back. MANY well known songs and soundtracks. She speaks on behalf of ALL artists… NOT merely herself… Bette milder probably has more money from her music and movies, than you, and your offspring combined will ever see… of course she would have made most of the money from her music WELL before online players like Pandora or spotify… computers were not common place then, and people still had car phones… NOT cell phones…

    • KC

      You’re an idiot and obviously have no idea how the music buz works. SONGWRITERS make the $ because if it weren’t for the SONG you wouldn’t KNOW the artist. Just because you don’t know who she is doesn’t mean she isn’t working just as hard as an artist – it’s a different career jackass.

      • Songwriter

        Songwriters make only $0.07 per play in Canada. That’s what I made with the songs I wrote and they don’t get paid for EVERY spin either. They gather info from REPORTING stations ONLY which is only 1 or 2 per major city. They take 2 hour samples of what has been played so if your song is not played in those 2 hours you will not get paid. Once the song becomes a hit, you get paid bigger amounts but it’s always the artist who makes the $$ because people are buying the CD’s or downloads. Much bigger return on the purchases.

        • AlwaysRight

          are you crazy. every radio station has to log, every song played. the artists get paid pro rata on plays based on the license fee the station pays. you’re such an idiot.

          • WFU

            if you don’t know what u are talking about, don’t talk. he’s right: a survey is taken, because they don’t have the money to compile data from thousands and thousands of tiny town or every college radio stations, so they look at a certain number (i can’t remember if it’s always the same ones, mostly the same, or always different) and make calculations.

            do some reading.

          • kungfu

            As a radio DJ I’ve never documented what I’ve played, what is recorded is the ratings and monitor changes ,time,and temp. now you do have to record what promo cards you read (like comericals only spoken not the recorded versions). I’ve been in radio going on 30 years now

    • PuttingYouInYourPlace

      Calling someone like Bette Midler unknown just proves how ignorantly retarded you are. She’s not even just a musician. She’s a film actress, producer, writer and has won 3 Golden Globes, 3 Emmys, 2 People’s Choice Awards and a Grammy. She’s been in the business longer than you have been alive (Only someone young and naive would claim to not know who she is.) and she is vastly more talented and trained than a large portion of what you would probably deem “good musicians,” in the pop, rap and rock genres.

      So sit the fuck back down, and go practice your lower case letters like a good boy or girl.

    • Frederick Johnson

      Obviously, you no nothing about music, or the contribution that Bette Midler has made to the industry. Regardless of your opinion about her contribution, no one should be slighted based on the number of plays in any medium.

    • WriterWriter

      At least you TOTALLY missed the point!

      She didn’t say “me.” She said SONGWRITERS.

    • person

      4+ million isn’t well known? Stop pretending you can’t use this number as a general reference to see how artists are being raped from behind with no lube…

    • Menachem was here

      She should start making overpriced, crappy headphones. One can make billions.

    • autigers1970

      Let me get this straight….you think 1.4 million plays per month isn’t “making music for the masses?” I’m not Bette Midler fan, but that’s pretty damn popular. Certainly more popular than $144 would indicate.

      Did you get dropped on your head as a baby?

      • Anonymous

        Irony – it’s just like Goldy and Bronzy, ‘cept it’s made of Iron.

    • Tedlee

      Anonymous, you are clueless. How old are you, 11? Maybe before you comment you should get your facts straight. Duh…

    • I_Can_Read

      I’m sorry that so many people on the internet don’t know how to read into sarcasm. I thought it was pretty blatant. In some ways, reading the comments here turned out to be more enlightening about the state of humanity than the initial story itself.

  2. TuneHunter

    Let’s convert the industry to discovery moment monetization and Pandora will become $5billion music store.

    Time to finish voodoo economics in music!

    • TuneHunter

      SCREW VEEVOO mutant!
      If we show them how to do it they will take away Shazam and Sounhound teenage boys from pimp activities to much more attractive business opportunities!

  3. Albert Shanker

    Yes world, music was once created by individuals who studied melody,harmony and rhythm. Musicians learned how musical instruments work in various combinations, and human dynamics in real time. First sampling other peoples music for your own financial gain(surely you don’t think ,it was to improve society at large!) took hold, minimizing 1000 years of musical skills,and now the craft ,science and beauty has been reduced to a bunch of clicks!! Thanks all you innovators!

    • ReSet

      “Yes world, music was once created by individuals who studied melody,harmony and rhythm. Musicians learned how musical instruments work in various combinations, and human dynamics in real time. First sampling other peoples music for your own financial gain(surely you don’t think ,it was to improve society at large!) took hold, minimizing 1000 years of musical skills,and now the craft ,science and beauty has been reduced to a bunch of clicks!! Thanks all you innovators!”

      If anyone thinks that music can be made by a bunch of clicks, they are a moron. Music will always be about melody, harmony, rhythm, feeling, all that good stuff. Every piece has them in one form or another. I would even argue that electronic artists are MORE innovative than traditional composers, since in the vast majority of cases, they don’t have their instrumentation given to them; they program their own sounds from scratch. I’d like to see you get something musical out of Reason’s Thor synth. Don’t be an asshole and belittle someone’s craft.

      • Minneapolis Musician

        I think he was mainly talking about loops.

      • barbarossa

        Spot on. Electronic music is actually much more intensive work than playing an instrument.

        • Whiteguycash

          As someone who does both, no. no it isn’t, by any long shot.

  4. Anonymous

    Creators of music should be compensated well for their intellectual property. However, if they have a problem with the compensation structure of these companies, why do they license there music with them? If all writers chose not to put their music on these platforms due to their “bogus” rates, I am sure the companies would either fail or share some of their $5 billion dollar revenue.

    • Anonymous

      “However, if they have a problem with the compensation structure of these companies, why do they license there music with them?”

      In most cases, they don’t. Many artists are still stuck with labels who own the streaming rights.

      And the second most popular service (Pandora) is a pirate site — i.e. artists can’t opt out.

    • Royal-ty mess

      Finally…someone said it…
      Well done!

      Why indeed?!?
      If artists do not want their music played on these platforms…then don’t upload your music onto them…simple!

      • listenup

        Dude, listen to what the person above you noted… In most cases, the artists aren’t the ones “uploading” their content to these services… The labels do.

        • Royal-ty mess

          Thanks…for some reason I missed that post.
          It seems that for most artists that have already signed with a label then…it may be too late for them to have a say in whether their music is streamed on the internet.

          If Indie artists do not wish for their music to be subject to streaming, then signing with a label may not be in their best interest, unless they are able to negotiate with the label that their music is ‘not’ to be available for streaming.

        • Jim

          Who is to blame for the labels having the rights to upload the artists music to a streaming site? Blame the artist for not being smart enough to negotiate a proper contract if they have an issue with streaming sites.

          • Anonymous

            “Blame the artist for not being smart enough”

            Yes, let’s blame the victims.

            The good news is many — most? — have learned the lesson now.

          • doh

            i sincerely doubt you have ever tried to negotiate a contract as an unsigned/ indie artist. You have no power or leverage, very few things ever get changed in your favor, and you are nearly always screwed in some way or another.

            The suggestion to just “opt out” of streaming, especially as an indie artist is particularly ignorant. Unless you have a ton of cash handy to pay out for press, radio, online marketing, touring, and other facets of promotion- your music will never be heard. Streaming sucks the life out of any financial earning for artists (I speak form experience), but it also allows a far reach when you don’t have a magic money box.

    • ohYeah

      The argument that artists of any kind, major-label to indie, could somehow withhold their catalogue from these streaming sites is a myth. If your music is registered with a PRO of any kind (which, if you are any level of professional, needs to happen) these streaming sits automatically acquire mechanical licenses to broadcast your music thanks to the Consent Decree written into the law many many years ago between the US anti-trust courts and ASCAP.

      There are many things happening currently between many parties that are all trying to update the laws and the system itself to better perform for writers. It’s complicated, but it doesn’t look good. If you’re interested in getting involved, though (and that goes for everyone on this thread), check out the Council of Music Creators.

  5. Robert von+Anzen

    Though Bette Midler is a songwriter, the songs performed by her on Spotify and Pandora are generally not ones that she composed. Even so, is this tally from her BMI accounting? If so, we already know the ball is dropped there.

    I bet she is pulling in over $100,000 annually on SoundExchange from Sirius XM, Pandora and Spotify but as a performer paid directly by SoundExchange.

    Whether her record company is giving her a fair shake on the $100,000+ it pulls in from Spotify is another question.

    • Anonymous

      Let’s not complicate things…

      Bottom line: Spotify and Pandora are useless for songwriters and artists.

      • Robert von Anzen

        No, let’s not oversimplify matters.

        It’s obviously her BMI statement that she’s looking at, “3 month accounting”.

        There, you’ve thrown artists back into the pot : “… useless for songwriters and artists”.

        Artists may be relatively underpaid in the digital age but they do a whole lot better than songwriters. If this continues, I can see in demand producers and songwriters turning the tables on recording artists and demanding “co-performs”.

        • Me

          Either that, or they’ll ask for more money up front, or maybe come up with a sort of licensing agreement.

  6. Casey

    A quick look at the songs she has written will reveal that she is a co-writter on the majority of her releases, one of several co-writters on many. The revenue is also split with the publisher. That means the payments are divided up many ways. So the numbers are not very surprising. The question is how much would she have been paid after ~4 million people listened to her music on terrestrial radio. The numbers from other songwriters seem to indicate it would be less.

    • Anonymous

      “the numbers are not very surprising”


      There are only two ways for a songwriter or an artist to make money from streaming:

      1) Start a streaming service.
      2) Buy shares in a major label.

  7. hippydog

    Quote “The question is how much would she have been paid after ~4 million people listened to her music on terrestrial radio.”

    Exactly, and from what little information is out there (and the fact that you need a degree in math and economics to figure it out)
    Terrestrial radio DOES PLAY LESS..

    A 4 mil play on streaming can be equated to about 4 to 8 “spins” on terrestrial radio (depending on market share)

    • Patrick

      hippydog says: “Terrestrial radio DOES PLAY LESS..
      A 4 mil play on streaming can be equated to about 4 to 8 “spins” on terrestrial radio (depending on market share) ”

      Wait a minute, if 4 million plays on a streaming site equals 4 – 8 spins on terrestrial radio, that means terrestrial radio pays WAY more. Because if you extrapolate the equaled pay of 8 spins on terrestrial radio to 4 million spins on terrestrial radio, an apples to apples comparison, it’s way more. Do the math. That’s only “IF” what you are saying is true, and for some reason, I doubt it. I do believe terrestrial radio pays more, but not a lot more. I’ll have to check on that. however, terrestrial radio is not “on demand”, and most streaming sites are, or are close to it. Because of that, they should pay more because people are using streaming sites so they don’t have to purchase the music outright.

  8. Anonymous

    OK, now what about on the master side how much? Don’t show me a third of a picture and tell me it’s the whole picture.

    • Anonymous

      Also, what does this have to do with Spotify? Spotify pays out many multiples of Pandora and Youtube. Is she also complaining about Youtube, which is used by far more people and pays far less to artists?

  9. Me

    Is Bette a songwriter, though? I’d like to see a more detailed breakdown of this statement, because most of her biggest hits were not written by her. It’s interesting to see somebody complain about songwriting royalties when they don’t actually write songs.

  10. DUDE

    She’s talking about only songwriter royalties on a bunch of mad old releases from ONE non-interactive online radio service. If that’s all she’s tryin to collect on then she’s doing a piss poor job of ‘earning a living’ as a songwriter — for starters she’s got the rest of her songwriter residuals plus the residuals on her masters (which should be a good deal higher because most of her hits were either covers or cowrites as others have mentioned). That doesnt even require her to do anything besides chase anyone who’s delinquent with their accountings.

    Besides that, she’s got industry clout that she could be using to get her songs placed on other people’s albums or synced in commercials, movies, TV, compilations, etc — itd involve actually doing something besides cashing checks but she did say something about ‘earning’ a living, not ‘getting paid for not doing shit.’ If she was really tryin to hustle Im sure she could make bank on tour – her fan base is middle-aged and would probably shell for expensive tickets more easily than 18-25 year olds would. Or she could record a new album — with her level of name recognition Im sure someone would pony up a huge advance and cut her a favorable deal.

    Tldr cry me a fuckin river, she’s got all kinds of options for ‘earning a living’ and probably eats better than any of us

  11. toobad

    Definitely not including soundexchange… My soundexchange is in the low thousands every quarter and I’m sure my plays aren’t as crazy as Bette Midler’s.

  12. Skrilly

    This is obviously only a portion of what she received. Paint the rest of the picture and she probably received more like 4,175,149 x $0.0023 for approx $9,600. Which is not too shabby. Especially since it’s about equivalent to about a dozen spins in a major market. Speaking of, how much did terrestrial radio pay her during those three months? A big fat $0.00.

    • WYZIP

      @Skrilly – She is talking about publishing only …not royalites derived from streaming her sound recordings. Nonetheless, for this to be remotely informative, she should disclose the songs at-issue or how many other co-writers there are. If she owns 100% of publishing that’s one thing but if its chopped up 5 ways, that’s clearly another. For instance, one of her biggest hits, “Wind Beneath My Wings” was written by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley. Soooo… she get $0 in publishing – is that too low too??? Its all relative. Without more info this info is meaningless.

      I would be curious to know how much terrestrial radio paid in publishing during that same time frame.

  13. Willis

    I wonder what she will do with her new found wealth.

  14. MusicMatters

    The music industry is going to be done with very soon mainly because of streaming and this terrible economy. Does anybody know if there is such a thing as a CD that cannot be burned???????
    Artists are going to have to figure out some new ways of actually being able to make money off of their music!

  15. BekiBrindle

    The fact is, songwriters are getting ripped off. There are plenty of examples besides Bette who may or may not have written a lot of songs that are actually streaming. Others have written hits that stream in the millions and they get checks for a few hundred dollars. It’s a rip off job by all of these little companies that started in someone’s basement. Songwriters start in their basements too and are probably now living in other people’s basements because their royalties have now turned into nothing. Working musicians make it look easy. It isn’t easy .. how many more have to die from the stresses and strains of the road when they should be slowing down a bit but can’t because what should have been their retirement fund is now gone?

  16. noble heart

    Hello creative loves,

    Streaming technology has given us the coolest giant mobile jukebox ever created. However, if you believe that current streaming rates and the business model don’t reflect the value of recorded music, and/or that artists’ rights and hard won mechanical rates (for songwriters & publishers in particular) got lost in the technological shift, please send an intelligent statement to the US Copyright Office.

    I believe that there is a fair solution available for all in this matter. I believe that this is an honorable discussion. The writers of songs are not always the artists, as we know. They should be compensated fairly, and have an opportunity to make a living from their work just like they used to. We won these battles in the 20th century. It’s time to make it right again.

    All comments must be in by May 16, 2014.

  17. Josh

    It is known that artist don’t make that much from their songs(whether it be on iTunes, albums, or streaming. The artist makes something like 75-80% of their money from concerts…

    • noble heart

      My dear, there are additional revenue streams for songwriters and publishers that have been affected by digital technology and streaming. Many of those artists are not the touring artists…they stay home and write hits & memorable songs that make the audiences want to see the performers.

      Streaming is amazing. The current business models and payment rates are what is out of balance. It is fixable.

  18. DJ TODD

    It’s difficult to make money in today’s climate as a musician. Unless you are one, don’t speak as a self proclaimed expert on the music industry.

  19. nypbbob

    This is a disgrace no matter how it shapes up. The fact is artists and jr. labels have pretty much thrown out the window any possibility of earning money through streaming music. We cant wait for this company called Funn Networks to open. There has been tons of talks behind the scenes regarding these guys and their plan to revamp this segment of the industry. Hope its true. It’s way overdue.

  20. NeverReadtheComments

    She has money coming in via other sources, but these are the traditional means of music publishing compensation that are holdovers from a dying industry model, and this in the end is her point. No one who doesn’t have that–like a fledgling songwriter trying to be heard–can hope to be fairly compensated for their work with services like these.

    Whether or not you’ve heard of Bette Midler makes no difference, geniuses. The important data in that tweet: the nearly 4.2 million listens and the 114 measly bucks for them. 4.2 million listens on Pandora in three months is something that any indie upstart artist would, in principle, kill to have… until they found out that it would barely pay for one night out.

  21. Bob T.

    It that what Pandora paid Bette, or is that the payment Bette received from her extremely wealthy record label after taking their cut from Pandora?

  22. Jakomi

    Paul and Digital Music News staff, did you even bother to check with Pandora as to the real figure. You post in your headline that it was $144.21 when Beth Midler in her quote form her twitter feed at the top of the article states it was only $114.21. Simple mistake to correct with a simple bit of sub-editing? But regardless I asked the founder of Pandora Tim Westegren in person last night at a Pandora town hall meeting in front of a few hundred people whether he thought paying $114.21 for 4,256,000 song streams was equitable and he stated the figure was wrong and Beth Midler was actually paid $6700 for that many song streams. Quite a difference. What concerns me most though is both your DMW and Billboard who are supposedly respected music business publications not even doing your research and getting to the bottom of it. You are a discrace to journalism! Please do your fact checking from both sides before publicising what are clearly false figures…

    • Jakomi

      I update my post sorry Bette Midler had 4,175,149 song plays so a bit of my own foot in mouth…

    • hippydog

      Quote ” and he stated the figure was wrong and Beth Midler was actually paid $6700 for that many song streams.”
      1st…. Who is this BETH Midler making all this money? 😉

      2nd …. OMG Paul!

      Breaking News Headline!

      “Tim Westegren Calls Bette Midler a liar!”

      • Jakomi

        You are way off mark here…If the figure is incorrect than DMN should have done there research. Even if it was her label and publisher who got paid a total of $6700 and Bette got such a shit cut of only $114.21 out of it…DMN should actually do some real investigative journalism and get to the bottom of it… but clearly DMN and Billboard are not interested in investigative journalism they want tabloid style headlines with no actual bearing of real life facts. And if you believe Tim is lying then why don’t you get of your lazy arse and actually prove it – the same goes for the DMN team. On a final note I still believe $6700 for over 4,000,000 million songs streams is a pittance and not a fair recompense for an artists work it should be closer to $50K…Just saying

        • hippydog

          Quote ” Hippydog! You are way off mark here”
          on which part.. the part you posted, or the part she posted or the part Paul posted?

          i will admit, technically Tim W. did not call Bette a liar….

          you did

          but that is a pretty boring headline..

          as to
          Quote “no actual bearing of real life facts.”
          The ONLY “facts” that have been presented is Bette publicly announcing what she got paid..
          thats a fact.. (as its first person and announced publicly)

          YOU posting that you “heard this” from Tim W. is not a fact (unless this meeting was documented or other real life witness’s come forward)..
          it is hearsay..

          you know what they say about throwing stones in a Glass house? 😉

          Either way..
          maybe if more of these streaming sites were clearer about how they do their payouts..
          IE: make it so you dont need a bloody degree to figure where the money went!..
          This stuff might not happen so much..
          cause Bette isnt the first to complain, and I doubt will be the last..

    • Anonymous

      “It’s true but what is she complaining about? Her net worth is over 200 Million”

      Oh man, I just love you guys!

      When the victim is a starving artist, you say sh!t like:

      “Why is she supposed to be “rolling in the dough”?” and:
      “This chick doesn’t make music at a level that is palatable to the masses.” and:
      “For once, I’d like stats from an actual well known musician.”

      And when it’s a star like Ms. Midler, you blame her for her success!


  23. Harmonie

    Last I checked, we all had a choice on where to put our music. If you don’t, then you’ve made bad decisions.

  24. Moses Avalon

    Bette has a good point but it’s directed at the wrong target. Her argument is not with Pandora but her record company for giving her such a lame split.

  25. Charlie Messing

    Streaming is a killer. Hope it dies. The money is in selling the songs, and the recordings, to the public. If you eliminate that (or call 4 million plays – which used to be repeatable plays on your own copy of the recording) either $6700 or $144, it’s still a killer. Wish they could stream corn flakes and actually sell you a physical recording of music again. Here’s to hard copy.

    • Anonymous

      “Streaming is a killer. Hope it dies”

      There’s only one way to kill streaming: Stop the Piracy Industry.

      Streaming is the direct result of piracy, and it will die if you remove the cause.

      • Endeavour

        I’m very familiar with the “piracy industry” and I’m totally comfortable in saying the only way piracy can be eradicated is by a total shutdown of the entire internet.. In other words not very likely at all.

        • Endeavour

          I should have said “online piracy” not just piracy.

        • Anonymous

          “the only way piracy can be eradicated is by a total shutdown of the entire internet”

          Come on, that’s just pirate speak. 🙂

          You can easily remove mainstream piracy in less than a week — without any collateral damage.

          The first step is to close the notorious DMCA loop-hole that allows Google and other companies to make billions of dollars from piracy.

          And the U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is very close to take that step.

          • Nick Wright

            And then the small, unknown bands will lose their ability to market themselves, because a bunch of established, rich recording companies don’t like that they have to actually work for their money.

          • Anonymous

            You gotta be joking! 🙂

            Stopping the Safe Harbor abuse is the best news in 15 years for everybody, small acts as well as stars.

  26. Charlie Messing

    Oh, I forgot – Somebody made almost 600 times what Bette made from those plays. If it was $6700. Right? In the old days, they paid Little Richard a half a cent for a dollar 45 record. That was robbery, and the record company was only making 200 times what LR got. So this is three times worse than the Bad Old Days, and that’s only if she actually got the $6700. LR made all his money on touring too. Ridiculous.

  27. Endeavour

    Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective, I never got the chance to be treated unfairly by streaming sites. When I was 17 I wrote 2 songs that are now ingrained in most psyches. I was ripped off by everyone, manager, label, publicist, parents, lawyers, etc etc. My songs were stolen from me and I cannot even say the names of them here. Because of the fight I put up, I was “blackballed”. All these years later I still have a bad taste in my mouth and I absolutely hate it when artists are not compensated fairly. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mainstrean artist, an indie artist, a kiss ass do boy or girl for a label, you deserve to be fairly compensated for what you’ve done. Be it singing, writing, drawing, painting, or digging a ditch.

    • TM

      Sorry to hear of what you have gone through. It’s disgraceful and repulsive. We have a lot of loudmouths here (and every where on the internet) shooting their mouths off and bashing, marginalizing and denigrating songwriters/artists. Because through some demented and delusional thinking, they believe the artists/songwriters do not deserve much for their work/craft. But I’ll bet you every single one of them would scream bloody murder, if their bosses suddenly decided to significantly reduce or completely eliminate their salary/compensation, for the work they do. These ” I Deserve Music For Free” thieves have been around for a along time. And they’re proud and petulant in their thievery and advocation of thievery. Let’s hope no one ever steals from them or denies them the right to be compensated for work they created/completed.

  28. Amanda

    This is interesting. I also wonder what songs are involved and if she gets royalty out of neighboring rights or copyrights. But since the U.S. does not apply neighboring rights but Sweden does (please correct me if i am wrong), so how this can be settled actually of neighboring rights involved?

  29. Rhapsody

    Pureplay Webcasters Per Performance Royalty Rates

    2011 – $.00102 per performance
    2012 – $.00110 per performance
    2013 – $.00120 per performance
    2014 – $.00130 per performance
    2015 – $.00140 per performance

    4,175,149 Plays x 0.00130 per performance = $5427

  30. Anonymous

    I do NOT wish to ID myself by I can say that I do work inside the music accounting business, and I can tell you youngters that everyone, INCLUDING Jay Z and Eminem are getting screwed on these “shared Music Sites”
    For your information the fabulous Miss Bette has generated over 4 billion dollars in sales worldwide from music, tv and film work….Jay Z 2.2

    • Nick Wright

      So, it sounds like they’re doing just fine. Maybe they should change their approach instead of shaking a stick as time passes them by.

  31. Martin Porter

    I love how people are thinking as though 4,000 or so is a fair shake from 4 million plays as well. Think about what you can buy for a penny(absolutely nothing. In Canada we’ve eliminated the penny). if Bette had gotten one PENNY for each play, she would have recieved 40,000 dollars, which is an extremely high salary for a professional musician, playing wedding gigs and teaching etc.

    This is a racket. The worth of all music is being driven into the ground by streaming.

    • Nick Wright

      Do you really think that by people listening to her music online, they will now forgo attending a concert? That’s where the real money is. Remember when bands used to go on tour and play arenas? You don’t think Bette Midler could make some cash in Vegas? But no, she wants to bank on revenue generated from banner ads. That’s her own naivety.

  32. Nick Wright

    This is nonsense. Musicians have always made money from touring and merchandising. If you want to make a living, go play. Don’t sit around waiting for the internet money to roll in. It’s not gonna happen. If I can make more than Bette Midler by playing in crappy bars, then she’s obviously doing something wrong.

    • Anonymous

      “If you want to make a living, go play”

      Awesome idea for all the songwriters who write the music people love!

      Thanks for your insight, man.

    • WFU

      awesome advice for people who CAN go play live. but what about someone who is a songwriter only? (i.e. a major label release goes through hundreds of songs to find 12, and those 100s of songs are written by working musicians who don’t tour.) what about the artist who made some great songs… 20 years ago… and doesn’t tour? what about lyricists? why is the physical action of playing worth money, but not the physical labor of creating a song?

  33. thehomelessguy

    naw, artists agree to the terms in contracts before anything else happens. They get exactly what they deserve. If they want more money, then they need to renegotiate.

  34. peter j dulouz

    Yikes! This got lively fast. I respect musicians highly but is an album really worth the $16 to $20 we pay? It costs pennies but, like anything else, there are overhead costs. That’s why we pay hundreds of dollars for a pill, a snake bite anti-venom and sunglasses frames. Wait. Scratch the eye wear frames. There is NO logical explanation for paying $400 for plastic frames just because there is a hot name on them. Jeezus…

    • Anonymous

      “is an album really worth the $16 to $20 we pay?”

      Here’s how it works: The owner sets the price — $1, $10 or $10,000,000, for instance — and you decide if it’s worth it.

      If you don’t think it is worth it, or if you can’t afford it, you can’t have it.

      It doesn’t matter if it’s released on vinyl, tape, CD or the internet. You pay for the content, not the container.

  35. Anonymous

    This conversation needs to be broaden to “non-pro” musicians. in the 70s, a 4-5 piece bar band would typically make $1000 for a weekend night gig. Now, 40 years later, it’s about half.
    Music as a way to make a living is dying.

  36. Keith

    Why are all of these artists cry babies? It was NEVER about record sales in the beginning! It was about airplay and exposure to get a fan base hooked on you as an artist. Things like Pandora and Spotify are really just forcing musician’s back to their roots. Time to put in some work, get on stage, be charismatic, practice, and go on tour and rely on ticket sales and merchandising! Welcome to 1930 when artists couldn’t rely on studio tricks and paparazzi to make a career.

    • Anonymous

      “Why are all of these artists cry babies?”

      The tech guys are worse: “Boo-hoo, artists sue me when I steal their content, but I’m too stupid to create my own and nobody visits my site if there’s no content. What shall I do?”

  37. Jules

    All you people are stupid.

    To “make it” in music you first have to know the right people. Then you have to have an endless supply of money $$$$$ YES…. MONEY OK?? SOME FUCKING $$$$$

    if you believe music today is based on TALENT….YOU ARE WRONG!

    WHO PAYS FOR THE MARKETING?? The facebook campaigns? The youtube campaigns? The annoying pop ups?
    And how much do they cost?? For a campaign to actually work???


    Surely you can see with all the crappy music that is shoved in our faces nowadays. THAT ITS NOT BASED ON TALENT!!! BUT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU HAVE!!!!

  38. truth teller

    From the beginning of her record making career (early 70’s) through to the early 90’s this “songwriter” wrote less than a dozen songs on the dozen or so albums she released.. & ..Bette Midler didn’t write ANY of her big hits… she’s always been a successful touring artist…
    so the Millionaires feeling the plight & joining the “fight” is suspect

    songs like Wind beneath my wings and friends are licensed every year and make a very decent paycheck for the writers… we’re talking every year, commercials, movies etc… Streaming isnt the only income stream for songwriters, so be careful with this… “there’s no money in music” propaganda.

  39. Gus Jansen

    Nobody is talking about “ears”. That $114 is equivalent to (say) 8 broadcasts on commercial radio, each reaching maybe 1/2 million people – so, 4 million sets of ears. There is a disparity, but it’s not as large as people seem to think.

  40. Esol Esek

    Sorry, but ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ is an affront to taste. That said, Pandora shouldn’t get to profit off of it.

  41. CURFEW

    I wonder what most of the above comments would be like if the Name in the original thread would’ve been taken out of the equation… (or replaced by someone like Rhianna of as a matter of fact an unknown artist)

  42. Venkat

    Music Streaming is another flash in the pan business model where all the middle men get paid and artist gets nothing. Death of this model is eventual and inevitable…after it makes spotify, pandora, rdio and all the investors & labels shitloads of cash.

  43. Anon

    If she doesn’t like it she should find a new career. This is the way this industry works and that’s that.

  44. Albert Shanker

    The organization of “tones in space” has lost monetary value in our current technologically based world.

    • Esol Esek

      THanks for that genius, you tech-savvy millenial. I suppose the entire internet and all movies and tv have lost value, seeing as how they are ‘pixels in space’. You are a rank sucker and rationalizer for a net paradigm that every single content provider should leave tomorrow and force to implode.

  45. Doc X

    Geez. That’s 3 hundred thousandth of a cent per listen.

  46. WakeTheF-Up

    Because it is obvious most people missed this, this is the ONLY post that matters in ALL of these comments:

    “Rhapsody – Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Pureplay Webcasters Per Performance Royalty Rates

    2011 – $.00102 per performance
    2012 – $.00110 per performance
    2013 – $.00120 per performance
    2014 – $.00130 per performance
    2015 – $.00140 per performance

    4,175,149 Plays x 0.00130 per performance = $5427

    If she’s talking about what Pandora pays for streaming her recordings its $5427, NOT $114.11.

    If she’s actually talking about her songs, that’s an issue she needs to take up with her PRO/Music Publisher.

    Bottom Line: Bette Midler can add “Liar” to her resume.

    Once3 again, the statutory rate for 2014 is: $.00130 per performance
    2015 – $.00140 per performance.

    4,175,149 Plays x 0.00130 per performance = $5427

    • WFU

      …and WakeTheF-up, you think that this is a good argument? 4,000,000 = 5500 dollars?

      • WakeTheF-Up

        Yes. For several reasons. That’s why I made it, eh?

        Reason 1 its a good argument) – It shows that Bette Midler, along with every other self-appointed minster if propaganda and misinformation about this issue is an out-and-out LIAR.

        Reason 2 its a good argument) – Its only ONE PORTION of the total payments Pandora makes. Even when she’s only telling HALF the story of the royalties being paid, Bette Midler has to resort to those out-and-out lies.

        Reason 3 its a good argument) – $5427 for 4,175,149 plays is $5427 MORE than she (or any other artist) gets for 4,175,149 plays on terrestrial radio. Indeed, it’s exactly $5427 MORE than she (or any other artist) gets for ANY NUMBER of plays on terrestrial radio.

        • Anonymous

          Hosting the servers and paying for the bandwidth, customer support, programming, etc. Things that Pandora and Spotify can’t avoid. I therefore think what you’re saying is reasonable. I believe people deserve more money than that, but at the same time, they aren’t forced to have their music on either Spotify or Pandora.

  47. Useless Comment Guy

    I’m a capitalist myself, but, isn’t this the same Bette Midler who has a net worth of $200 million? Just checking.

  48. Anonymous

    If streaming her songs on Pandora or Spotify isn’t good enough for her, then she shouldn’t have allowed it in the first place. She probably has a company that managed that stuff for her, but then she should contact the company.
    This woman doesn’t seem to understand how these things work. I agree that it’s way too little for that many plays, but at the same time, they can’t just stream whatever they want to.

    • Mike

      Your an idiot. An album takes 4-500 hours to site and record. And anywhere from 10k-200k to record.
      If she a “high profile” performer isn’t making squat what do you think other people are making. Obviously you listen to Miley cyrus and justin B and have zero appreciation for life and art.
      That’s prob why you have herpes and only date whores like your mom.

  49. Jerry Hooper

    Bette Midler is an iconic American singer and actress who has a net worth of $200 million. So, what this article really says is that these “artists” are extremely greedy individuals. They have many sources of high income and yet they complain about low income. Music is an art, just like paintings. Anyone is able to see any painting they want but if they want to hang it on their wall then they have to buy it!

  50. Sammy gonzalez

    As a musician it would be a dream to be in a band popular enough to receive 4 million plays in 3 months. You know how hard it is to pull that off?
    But the fact is were screwed. For an indie artist attempting to “make it” it’s the same as a start up small business.
    These are the costs.
    10-15k for an album recording good enough for main stream
    15-20k for professional videos, photos, publicist, promo, art and packaging.
    15k for a van, trailer, and merchandise.
    40-50k start up.
    How the hell are we suppose to pay for all of this with the pennies that pandora and spotify pay.
    Also the bigger you get the more people you need on your.
    Tour manager. Sound tech. Light guy. Merch guy. Gear tech. Bookin agent. Manager. Label. Lawyer. Band split. Publishing split. Gas. Food. Hotels.
    I’ve been in bands for the last 10 years an have traveled the world.
    I now own a studio and have decided to work in tv because I can’t work for free and go into thousands of dollars in debt anymore.
    Turn on the radio. It’s pretty horrible.
    The radio is a direct result of the financial situation in music.

  51. An alien observer

    As a musician myself, I can tell you this: the music industry has very little to do with music. As the old saying goes, they don’t call it the music “business” for nothing. I’m not being cynical (okay maybe a little), just realistic. I started out as a performer. Then I had to learn how to be a business person as well. It sucks. But that’s how the world works. It’s all about making money and scamming people.

    Some of the most talented people I know, who should be world fucking famous, are destitute and struggling – because they are crap at business, paperwork, organisation… On the other hand, I know some really shitty musicians/bands/performers who get heaps of work, mostly because they are really good at promotion and “playing the game”.

    People like Bette Mildler are the exception. She was lucky enough to have a good run with the managers and the business people she’s been involved with. Most are not so lucky. Don’t diss her for making a stand. She is speaking for others less fortunate. Her comment is still valid.

  52. Chris

    If there wasn’t a spotify or pandora, Bette Midler wouldn’t be making any money elsewhere. These has been artists somehow think they are relevant because their music gets played on Pandora or Spotify. Much like it was with illegal downloading, 90% of what people experience on these streaming services is music that they wouldn’t otherwise buy.

    • Adam

      Just because you wouldn’t buy it, does not mean you should get it for free. You don’t walk into a restaurant, eat half a meal and decide you don’t want it and leave without paying. Radio is supposed to be like a free sample. You decide what you like, and then purchase it. I’ve talked to young people who don’t even buy music, they “just listen to Pandora”. You aren’t supposed to be able to subsist on free samples from a supermarket. Choice is not supposed to be synonomous with free.

    • Adam

      Just because you wouldn’t buy it, does not mean you should get it for free. You don’t walk into a restaurant, eat half a meal and decide you don’t want it and leave without paying. Radio is supposed to be like a free sample. You decide what you like, and then purchase it. I’ve talked to young people who don’t even buy music, they “just listen to Pandora”. You aren’t supposed to be able to subsist on free samples from a supermarket. Choice is not supposed to be synonymous with free.