Spotify has an Epidemic and it is Killing Musicians

Around 6 months ago we wrote a blog post on how you can pitch your music to influential Spotify curators.

Spotify allow you to follow other user’s playlists, some of which can pick up hundreds of thousands of followers.

In the blog post we discuss exactly how you can find the curators of these playlists and pitch your tracks to them. This is a fantastic way to get your music heard by thousands of listeners and I highly suggest giving it a read.

Not only does it generate streams from the playlist followers, it triggers Spotify’s algorithm and pushes your track out to be added to more and more Discover Weekly playlists. This has been an amazing tool for artists to use and has led to bands being added to Spotify’s own official playlists and reaching over 1m streams.

But like every good thing, someone has to come along and spoil it!

Over the past few months we’ve been seeing artist’s receiving hundreds of thousands of streams without being added to any significant playlists. Then we noticed that some of their playlists were actually generating a crazy number of streams in comparison to their follower count.

Until we started to notice that these types of playlists were showing up on artists profiles again and again … and again. The playlists in question usually have around 1000 followers and 20 tracks on each, and artist’s get added to around 3-5 of the playlists.

They then generate between 1000 – 6000 streams per month. To put this in to perspective New Music Friday with almost 3 million followers generates 27,000 listeners per month. So it’s a safe guess that something isn’t quite right here…

What’s happening?

It’s quite similar to buying streams, but it would be too easily detected having hundreds of thousands of people going to a profile and clicking play, when usually streams would come from playlists. So that’s what these people are doing, they’re adding your track to a playlist with several other popular artists and running bots through the playlist in order to build the streams on your track

Spotify on Mac

Who’s actually doing this?

We surveyed multiple artists who are on these types of playlists, and all of them came to us with the same answer, they used a freelancer on Fiverr who guaranteed them a certain number of streams.

But remember when a company offers you guaranteed streams and listeners usually mean they are fake.

This is a very dangerous game to play. It’s common knowledge that you can buy fake views, likes and followers, but this is a fairly victimless crime, all you’re really doing is manipulating a number. It’s not something I’d recommend doing but there’s certainly no one who is losing out.

However, Spotify are a company who pay out money per stream, and therefore manipulating the numbers can be very dangerous as you’ll be receiving a payment. Spotify are already beginning to delete artist profiles due to faking their numbers, but my prediction is that Spotify will take this one step further.

Spotify actually get very little benefit from allowing you to follow user-curated playlists, it simply makes the platform a little more social and organic. But if this keeps happening Spotify will close down the ability to follow user-curated playlists all together.

They will go down a route similar to Apple Music and Google Play Music where they curate their own playlists, and if you’d like anything different then you’ll have to make a playlist yourself. Which would be a very sad day for the music industry, but it is the natural step towards cracking down on this unwanted activity.

When it comes to Spotify you should be looking to get added to Discover Weekly playlists, that’s your end goal.


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