Spotify’s ‘Fake Streams’: Our Response

By now, we’re sure that everyone is aware of the recent discussions surrounding Spotify and the so-called “fake artists”. While we can’t comment on the validity of these allegations we were interested to hear about news that followed this; the matter of fake streams.

While the concept of buying followers, likes and the such on social media is not a new one, it is a worrying jump especially as we have noticed that one name cited as offering these services is TuneCore.

While we would love to believe that there was no truth to this it seems that TuneCore has ‘fessed up in some manner. At Midem, when asked how self-releasing artists could gain better access to streaming playlists, Anne-Marie Robert (VP international, TuneCore France) replied – “we don’t provide direct trade marketing services because we let the artists do that and we take no commission … but we give a lot of advice on our blog and also we are partnering with some services where you can buy streams on Deezer and other websites which can help you.”

At least they’re being honest I suppose. But what isn’t honest is buying fake streams in order to earn more listeners.

In seriousness, after following this story for a while, we feel it is part of our duty to state that we don’t agree with it. We don’t endorse it and would never encourage the use of fake streams. We allow our artists to earn their own, genuine streams, and we will also work with artists and labels to help them gain more of these genuine streams with our marketing, radio and play listing campaigns.

It is a shame that artists feel that this is necessary to further their careers and even sadder that companies (that should know better) are encouraging this. This kind of disingenuous, exploitative ‘service’ is damaging to listener relationships and the industry as a whole.

As they were approaching $1 billion in revenue earnings, TuneCore’s ‘Billion Dollar Club’ was offering free distribution for a limited time. Though the ‘offer’ has now ended they are still promoting services on the back of it. They say they aren’t about gimmicks but this seems like a gimmick to us considering Horus Music offer free distribution all year round, as standard.