Sony's cavalcade of leaked documents in recent months has been, at best, enlightening to industry trends. But at worst, and what seems to be a partial internet consensus, the leaks have created an irreparable black eye for the media empire.

Alongside some of the company's more silly leaks comes an all important contract document with Spotify, which was singed in 2011. According to The Verge, the 42-page document gives an enlightening sense of how the pay ratio between the artists, streaming service, and labels was established. And contrary to what seemed to be the fault of Spotify, the label (unsurprising to many) seems to be at principle fault for the minuscule artist pay rates.

The two-year deal, written by Sony months before Spotify's U.S. launch, detailed what financial goals Spotify needed to hit, as well as advance payments to Sony, and how steaming rates were tabulated. The entire document can be read here.

Several key points stick out of the leak. Section 4(a), as Verge details, dictates that Spotify had to pay Sony $42.5 million USD in advances (over the course of the two years plus the optional third year), but there is no detailing of what Sony would do with that large sum. Verge notes, "According to a music industry source, labels routinely keep advances for themselves."

What also sticks out is Sony Music's intricately detailed use of the Most Favoured Nation tactic, famously prioritized in trading regarding international economics. The complicated structuring, in laymen terms, dictates that if any rival company strikes a deal with Spotify that is more favorable for that company, Spotify must pay the difference directly to Sony Music.

The Verge explains the benefit:

"That means if another music label is getting paid $1 million by Spotify for each percentage of market share it has, and Sony Music is getting $600,000 per market share percentage, Spotify must pay Sony Music the $400,000 difference — known as the adjusted contract period advance — at the end of each contract year."

Additionally, much of the document highlighted the two companies confounding advertising revenue, which also directly affected the pay rate of artists. Not only did Spotify have a 15 percent "off the top" rate, of which it can keep for itself and not count towards the final revenue, the streaming service had to allot $9 million in ad space exclusively for Sony. Sony, however, could choose to deal those ads however it may have chosen and it acquired the space at a highly discounted rate. As well, a portion additional ad space was completely free for Sony to use to promote artists.

Per the deal, as if it weren't obvious already, Sony Music was making an awful lot of money. Clauses in the final pay rate to the label were especially intricate and grossly favoring Sony. Essentially, Sony was earning 60 percent of Spotify's monthly revenue at the time, plus an additional percentage of pay from Sony-exclusive artists. "So if Spotify earned $100 million in gross revenue," Verge writer Micah Singleton explains, "the labels would would get $60 million. If Sony Music made up 20 percent of the streams, it would take home $12 million."

Going even further into Sony's favor, section 10(a)(1)(ii) of the contract indicates that if Spotify's expected growth did not meet expectations for any given months, the pay-per-stream rate that it owed Sony was subjected to increases. And if the growth went over expectations, then Spotify also had to pay the change in proportion to that revenue. Meaning, if the growth was under, Spotify paid the difference, and if it was over, it paid Sony again.

In the end, it's hard to say that Spotify and other streaming services are a principle culprit in the under-paying of music artists, given that the vast majority of revenue from the service itself heads right into the hands of its major partnering labels. It's an incredibly messy public relations debacle, of which, further enlightens the plight and failures of the music industry.