The proliferation of disingenuous music marketing & playlisting services | by Philip Kaplan | Jan, 2021

The proliferation of disingenuous music marketing & playlisting services | by Philip Kaplan | Jan, 2021

Recently, Spotify removed music from their service due to suspected “artificial streams.” These takedowns were distributor-agnostic and affected music from all distributors (not just DistroKid).

And though DistroKid wasn’t involved in the takedowns, we exist to help artists. So I figured a “behind-the-scenes” look at how artificial streaming most commonly happens can shed light, and help artists avoid these situations in the future.

Here’s a common situation:

  1. A playlister, marketing service, publicist, advertising agency, manager, etc., tells an artist “for $300, we’ll help you get more streams.” These services often look legitimate, with seemingly good reputations.
  2. The artist sends money to aforementioned service.
  3. The service (or playlist) then employs bots (fake listeners) to boost the number of streams to the track or playlist.
  4. The artist thinks “wow it worked!” and sends more money.
  5. Rinse & repeat.

Unfortunately, this type of thing is becoming more popular, and has ensnared many smart, talented, and well-meaning artists who had no idea these marketing services were up to no-good.

Every month, Spotify & other streaming services detect fraudulent marketing services and playlists, remove associated tracks, and email a list of affected tracks to distributors (so your distributor can notify you).

If you got an email notice, it’s possible you (or someone on your team, or a friend, or fan) used one of these fake marketing services. It’s also likely you didn’t know that the marketing service (or playlist) was generating fraudulent streams. Which is a super bummer situation (for you and for your distributor).

DistroKid fights for artists, and we think if it was an honest mistake, Spotify should give artists another chance. We’re working on an industry-first solution to help artists dispute artificial streaming claims and takedowns from streaming services. Nothing like this exists currently, with any distributor — and DistroKid is excited to be the first distributor to offer it, for free, to artists. More details on that coming soon.

If your music was already removed by Spotify for suspected artificial streams, and you believe Spotify removed it in error, please fill out this form. DistroKid will submit a counter-notification to Spotify on your behalf.

I hope this is helpful. Thank you for reading.

Chris
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