Pandora has been around for ages, and for any independent hip-hop artist it’s probably been on your to-do list now for quite some time.

It’s very popular with users and listeners alike, and has become a really big part of the music scene for a lot of indie artists who are constantly on the look for ways to create and optimise revenue channels from their craft.

Unless you are doing shows constantly and have a lot of work coming your way in terms of working with other artists, you may find that your few sources of income are limited.

By tapping into services like Pandora, you can bridge that gap and open yourself up to a far more financially viable and secure future rather than an uncertain one.

Pandora, however, has come under serious criticism in recent years. Not too long ago, Aloe Blacc was telling the world that Pandora radio didn’t pay a fair fee to their artists. He claims to have made less than $12,000 in payments from Pandora on his hit song with Avici, “Wake Me Up”.  $12,000 may sound pretty good to most people – but this was for 168 million plays.

Pandora have made it clear in the past that many of their artists – many of whom you may never have heard of – are doing well very because of their service.

The defence that more than 800 of their artists were making more than $50,000 per year seemed to go against what Blacc was saying. They also claimed in 2012 that they paid Drake up to $2 million year at the time. By the time of the other article, not too long later, he was on $3 million.

Blacc isn’t the only one who has come out to slate the services of Pandora, though. In fact, there is a whole list of names that have come out against the idea of this kind of streaming and the associated bum payments – that is quite the list, wouldn’t you agree?

So, what’s the actual situation with Pandora and their payments? Well, current rates work out at roughly $60 for every 1 million plays which doesn’t sound too great if you’re an indie hip-hop artist.

However, there are other tangible benefits that came from it, mainly the fact that it’s great for exposure – Pandora is a place that you can easily get listeners from and start building up a catalogue of listeners.

This is why it’s such an important service to be using, because it gives you a lot more freedom to start building up a list of listeners from all across the globe.

It can take a bit of time to get it right and truly understand what you should be expecting, but if you use Pandora as a musical tool to boost your followers you’ll do very well from it.

Don’t expect Pandora to be putting five figures into your bank account anytime soon, though – they simply don’t pay well enough to let that happen.

Don’t let yourself get caught up in just profits, though – exposure is every bit as important.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.