Avicii's 'Wake Me Up' Earned Only $12,359 After 168 Million Streams
The growth of streaming services causes a bit of controversy among artists and record labels seeking payment for their work. In a revealing guest editorial for Wired, Avicii's collaborator Aloe Blacc detailed the meager compensation he received for the 168 million plays "Wake Me Up" received on Pandora's streaming service. Aloe Blacc revealed Pandora only paid $12,359 to three songwriters and their publishers. He stated he only earned $4,000 for the single's streaming despite the massive amount of plays the track garnered for the streaming platform.
This trend marks an interesting and potentially disturbing trend for artists, record labels, and music publishers. Up until the release of Taylor Swift's 1989 album, no album released in 2014 had gone platinum (meaning no album sold a million copies). Meanwhile, streaming services like Spotify attract people interested in listening to music but not necessarily purchasing it. While artists like Avicii and Blacc earn money from touring, endorsements, and other ventures, the fact that they earn so little from their songs being played bears testament to a potentially destructive aspect of streaming services. Blacc's post helps expose the issue to a larger audience, but it remains to be seen how people will respond.