Niche jazz and classical label Blue Music Group has withdrawn its music from Spotify citing low royalty payments. Blue Music specializes in music from Scandinavian, one of Spotify's strongest markets. "Having the catalog available at Spotify's pitiful rates - and we're talking about fractions of cents per streamed song - kills all chances to produce new fruitful music," says Mika Pohjola, the head of Blue Music Group.
"Blue Music Group is keen to pay its artists fairly, we have one of the highest royalty rates in the industry," he continued. "We rely on people buying our downloads from Apple iTunes, Amazon or Bandcamp. These vendors, especially Bandcamp, gives a straight-forward deal on downloads, and they understand musicians need to get paid."
One Blue Music Track Had 1 Million Spotify Streams
The indie label had been with Spotify since 2008. During the six years that followed, Blue Music Group has had some success with its 2006 release Swedish Traditional Songs by vocalist Johanna Grüssner which hit 1 million Spotify streams. "Although we've been fairly successful with some albums, it's a question of fair play for all artists," Pohjola explained. "Most artists suffer from Spotify eating up their download sales. Maybe in the future, when the deal is fair toward artists and producers, we can consider Spotify and other streaming services again."