This sounds like a very positive outcome for music. Obviously the big artists still get all the money, but to get meaningful monies to a few thousand artists is pretty good.

For over two thousand artists Pandora will pay over $10,000 dollars each over the next 12 months (including one of my favorites, the late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson), and for more than 800 we’ll pay over $50,000, more than the income of the average American household. For top earners like Coldplay, Adele, Wiz Khalifa, Jason Aldean and others Pandora is already paying over $1 million each. Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.

via Pandora: Pandora and Artist Payments.

The catch in the article is that this positive amount of money is seen as part of a “predatory” license fee (which, presumably, Pandora wishes to reduce). You can see the thrust of their argument in terms of competition: internet radio makes enormous payments, AM/FM radio makes none.

Could the same work for news? e.g. Google Reader would divert a chunk of my monthly subscription (yes, I know it’s free now) to the people I read?