Artificial Streaming: Why You Shouldn't Buy Streams
Has your music been taken down from Spotify or other streaming services recently? Here's why you should stay away from buying streams and instead focus on building an authentic following.
Has your music been taken down from Spotify or other streaming services recently? There are many reasons why tracks are taken down and when this happens, you can of course reach out to our support team here (link to form), but a major reason why you might have experienced a takedown is due to fraudulent activity.
Spotify has now announced that they do not recommend third-party promotional services. Here’s what they had to say about paying for third-party promotional services.
“Paid 3rd-party services that guarantee streams aren’t legitimate. 3rd-party promotional services that advertise streams in return for payment violate our terms & conditions, and using them could result in your music being removed from Spotify. Any service that claims to offer a guaranteed placement on playlists on Spotify in exchange for money is in violation of our terms & conditions, and they shouldn't be used.”
Consequences of paying for streams
At Amuse, our terms and conditions are in sync with the DSPs that we distribute to and the consequence of buying streams is a takedown of the track/s that have artificial streaming. We can see where a user's streams come from so it’s easily identifiable when we see suspicious behavior. On Spotify’s end, they have recently disclosed how they are dealing with this issue.
“When we identify or are alerted to potential or confirmed cases of stream manipulation, we take action that may include the withholding of royalties, the correction of streaming numbers, and measures to ensure the artist or song’s popularity is accurately reflected in our charts. Spotify reserves the right to remove manipulated content from the platform.”
If any of this happened to you but you believe your streams were legitimately earned, please contact our support team here and we will review your case. We’ll work with the DSPs and hopefully resolve the problem quickly! But with a bit of investigation, we can easily identify fraudulent activities so be true to your work and your work will be true to you.
How Spotify protects against artificial streaming
Spotify has taken measures to track bought streams and has been actively cleaning out the platform of releases that have artificial stream counts.
“An artificial stream is a stream that doesn't reflect genuine user listening intent, including any instance of attempting to manipulate Spotify by using automated processes (bots or scripts). We put significant engineering resources and research into detecting, mitigating, and removing artificial streaming activity on Spotify so that nothing stands in the way of our mission of giving artists the opportunity to live off their art, and so that rights holders are paid as fairly as possible for their work. The integrity of this is incredibly important to us because an illegitimate stream means there are honest, hard-working artists on the other side that are impacted.”
Most streaming services operate on a “shared pool” model for royalties, which splits all income according to the total number of streams accrued. When fraudulent users buy streams, it steals rightful revenue from other honest independent artists.
According to Rolling Stone, “three to four percent of global streams are illegitimate streams…That’s around $300 million in potential lost revenue moved from legitimate streams to illegitimate, illegal streams.” // To learn more about just how deeply this affects artists all over the world, check out the article here.
The main message here is fam, don’t pay for streams.
Focus on promoting your music authentically to your fans and believing in your music. Follow our blog for articles that give in-depth tips on promoting your music in a way that doesn’t break our or the DSP’s terms and conditions. Find these articles here or check out our Youtube channel for more educational content that will help you build a following, grow your fan base and increase your streams organically.