Spotify have recently informed us of a significant increase in fraudulent activity on their platform including the use of illegitimate music promotion services to increase streams. It’s exceptionally important for you as an artist or label to check and verify companies (who offer too good to be true results) as they can often be scams which may result in stores removing your music from their platform.
So, what exactly is artificial streaming?
Artificial streaming is any activity that takes place on the Spotify end-user platform (and on other streaming services such as Apple Music), undertaken with the express purpose of artificially boosting streaming numbers for a particular track or catalogue and thus fraudulently increasing revenue and publicity for the artist and/or label.
These streams are usually achieved by using bots, which are automated tools designed to perform a repeated action. This can include a series of different actions, but in this instance, they usually play a track on loop to appear as if it has been streamed several times. Spotify and other streaming platforms track unusual listening patterns and flag streams which they deem potentially suspicious and class as artificial streams.
Companies which advertise guaranteed streams or playlist placements are strong indicators for an illegitimate business. If a company informs you that they can guarantee you a certain number of streams or a placement on a certain playlist, this is false information, and you must ensure you do not use these services as it will affect your music and the legitimacy of you as an artist on digital platforms. Spotify only accept playlisting submissions through Spotify for artists and you cannot pay to get a place on these. Paying to get on editorial playlists is illegal, so it is imperative you do not buy into any companies offering you playlist placement guarantees.
The result of using an illegitimate company is a real threat to your work and artistry. They do not provide representative data, as the streams are not generated from real fans. This means the analytics cannot be used accurately which not only affects your royalties but can have an impact on the success of future releases if your music is flagged for fraudulent activity and removed from stores because of artificial streaming.
Spotify have recently implemented updated anti-stream manipulation measures and are now providing us with monthly reports containing artificial streams that have been removed from the monthly royalty calculation (and therefore subsequently removed from your monthly statements).
If you receive an email notice from us, it’s possible you (someone on your team, a friend, a fan) utilised a fake marketing service or playlist (perhaps unknowingly) that generated streams fraudulently, which is not only a difficult situation for you as an artist, but for us as your distributor.
With the above in mind, if Spotify allege your content is fraudulent our terms and conditions dictate; we must remove your music from all our platforms to create a level playing field for our other artists and labels and protect our direct partnerships with DSP’s.
We want to work with our artists to resolve any issues. So, if you believe your music has been flagged in error for takedown by Spotify and can provide evidence of genuine marketing campaigns and strategy, then please complete our Spotify Artificial Streams Counter Notification form within fourteen days of receiving email notification. We can then investigate the matter with Spotify further. If you are unable to do so, all releases will be taken down from Spotify and our other digital service providers and your profile will be terminated.
If you’re looking for a legitimate way to boost streams, Horus Music offers a range of marketing services suitable for a variety of budgets. For more information, get in touch with our team today.