"The law only demands I be paid in money, which at this point in my career is not as valuable as information. I'd rather be paid in data," Keating says, referring to listener data that could be gleaned from online services, which she in turn could use to boost ticket and CD sales.The current rate (about a tenth of a cent per play) means that only the most popular artists can count on substantive revenues from web plays. For most artists, revenues come predominantly from touring and merchandise sales. Ms. Keating notes that data on her fans can be much more helpful - she already uses basic postal code information from iTunes sales to help plan her tours.
Keating understands that in order to prosper in a world of digital music — just like in the world of e-commerce, digital publishing, you name it — information is power.
A lot of the people advocating for raising online royalty rates argue that it's a matter of fairness. I'll note that online music streamers are already paying royalties, both directly and/or indirectly (through licensing fees), so it isn't that online music streamers aren't "stealing" anything. The bill's about increasing royalties and setting vastly different royalty rates depending on how the music is accessed or sent - and about making people pay extra to stream music they own from the cloud or their digital content lockers) for their personal use (but that's a different post). The research being reported in Billboard shows that it's not as much about fairness as about privileging one music distribution system over another - and where's the fairness in that?
Source - Data isn't just the new oil, it's the new money. Ask Zoe Keating, GigaOm
Business Matters: If Big Radio Had Pandora's Royalty Rate, It Would Owe Billions, Billboard.biz