Streaming music companies have traditionally been very wary of suggesting that their label licensors are not as transparent as they could be when paying artists based on streams. However, the current debate around low payouts is encouraging some services to be more outspoken. Witness Mog CEO David Hyman’s response to a question from Fast Company about how money is distributed.

“I have no idea. It’s like a black hole. It’s based on individual contracts the labels have with their artists. I have no control over it.” Rdio CEO Drew Larner agrees. “I have no insight into what their artists are paid because every artist deal is different. One artist may have a huge advance, while one may get different royalties.” We sense Mog may be getting a few calls from indie labels this week based on another comment from Hyman, though. “The indie labels get the same deals as major labels. How they negotiate their deals with their artists, I have no idea. I don’t know why indies would be different than a major. Maybe because nobody is listening to their music?”

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