Music streaming service Spotify has said that recent reports that it pays artists on major labels up to six times more than independents are utterly false.

The Guardian and a number of other news sources reported earlier this week that major label artists such as Lady Gaga were receiving a considerably higher royalty rate from Spotify than artists on independent labels, according to reports in the Swedish press.

Those reports noted that Universal and Sony also received more revenue from Spotify than from any other Swedish record stores, both online and on the high street.

Utterly false Spotify reports

In response to those reports, Spotify's PR manager, Jim Butcher informed TechRadar:

"To suggest we pay major labels up to six times more than the indies is utterly false. Additionally the Guardian article refers to a series of dated and extremely speculative stories.

"We're working extremely hard with all labels, both indie and major, to provide sustainable revenues for the industry as a whole at a time when the vast majority of music continues to be downloaded illegally and not providing a single penny for artists."

Indies are crucial to Spotify

Spotify also issued the following generic statement in response to the negative press , claiming:"Indie label content is a crucial part of Spotify and offering their music on the service allows our users to experience a hugely diverse catalogue spanning every musical genre.

"In return, we give indie labels a powerful monetisation and promotional platform as well as exposure to an eclectic and passionate audience of music lovers across Europe. Crucially, Spotify has paid many millions of euros to the indie music community since our launch and we enjoy an excellent relationship with the vast majority of our indie label partners."

Artists and label deals with Spotify are covered by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), hence it is difficult to ascertain exactly how much individual labels and musicians or bands make from the service.