I have been humbly reminded of the need to question the source of the information that I act upon.
A few days ago I came across an article citing some heart warming statistics about Internet radio and what a key source of income it has become for musical artists. The article reported how Pandora had paid performance fees in excess of $100,000 to fairly unknown artists. The author, Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren, went on to reminisce on his years in a band, and how important this type of revenue could be for amateur musical artists. I thought ‘Great! Good news for musicians, finally!’ and quickly shared it on Twitter – you can read the article here.
Later, twitter user @IntrotoMKT directed me to this article stating that a high proportion of the money goes to intermediaries, not the artists themselves. Artists could end up receiving as little as less than 5% of the revenue accrued through Pandora.
The key message of the original article – that Internet radio was a source of revenue for artists – was true. But the implied message – that it was delivering thousands or millions of dollars to artists – wasn’t. Shame on me for not questioning the impartiality of the source.