Songwriters Under Attack? Is Fairness really that simple? An investigation of 8 cents per 1,000 plays

Recently, ASCAP launched its “Songwriters Under Attack!” campaign, coinciding with a court case that involved ASCAP and Pandora. The rather sophisticated decision in this case—which hinged on issues of the consent decrees, anti-trust, and the nature of performance rights—did not go in favor of publishers or ASCAP, so expect ongoing disagreement.

In this post, I am going to dig into a very specific claim that ASCAP makes within this campaign: “Right now, every 1,000 plays of a song on Pandora is only worth about 8 cents to songwriters and composers.” The implication of such a small number would be that the amount is unfair. Unfortunately for both myself and artists, the Fairness math may not be that simple.

Read on at


$0.0001: The value of a Radio performance, given rumored ClearChannel/Warner deal terms

Earlier today, the rumor mill milled out a rumor that Clear Channel and Warner Music inked a deal covering royalties related to the performance of sound recordings (aka, Music) on Clear Channel’s radio stations.

As some might expect, the rumored deal terms sent me directly to a calculator, in and effort to value each performance, per listener, on Clear Channel US terrestrial radio given the rumored deal terms.

The back of the napkin estimate: between $0.00009375 and $0.000107 per performance, per listener. Simplified as: $0.0001 per performance, per listener.