“Firstly, any payment to STIM would only represent a fraction of the payments rights holders receive and only for music played in one country (in this case Sweden) as we pay not only collecting societies, but also publishers and the record company to play their music,” says a spokesperson.
“Secondly, the figure (unrepresentative as it is) is from a short period just after our launch last year, way before we’d established ourselves as a music service and built up a large user base. Specific payments are of course confidential, but this is certainly wide of the mark.”
How much did Spotify pay Lady Gaga? They can't release numbers for a specific artist without permission, but Spotify could end the controversy by releasing a single example by an unnamed artist. Or Lady Gaga could make her first-ever positive contribution to the music industry by releasing the size of her payments. I'd be happy to print either.