Artificial Streams And How To Avoid Them

Artificial Streams and How to Avoid Them

Artificial streams refers to artificially inflated number of views, streams, followers, or sales of music to manipulate popularity and generate royalty revenue. Apart from breaking the T&Cs of streaming services as well as distributors, it strips legitimate artists of hard work and money. We’ve put together a guide to help you understand how artificial streams may affect you and what you can do to avoid them.

Amuse, Amuse

What is it about Artificial Streams?

Artificial streams, also known as streaming fraud, occurs when streams do not reflect genuine user listening intent. This includes any attempt to manipulate DSPs by using automated processes. Artificial streams, whether they come from bots, scripts, or streaming farms, are used to falsely inflate the number of streams on a track or album to create the illusion of success.

Some people intentionally abuse the streaming system for financial gain. For legitimate artists, however, issues with artificial streams often involve engaging with a service that offers promotional services (increased streams, followers, downloads, favorable playlist placements, and exposure) in exchange for a fee. Services who guarantee to provide a surge in genuine streams and fans usually use bots to repeatedly stream the release and/or place it in user-generated playlists with fake listeners.

Source: Spotify

Consequences of Artificial Streams

Paying for streams can result in a sudden surge in streams and traffic, and one might wonder, what harm does this actually cause? Well, as an increase in streams automatically leads to additional royalty revenue, manipulating them equals monetary fraud. It’s also against the Terms & Conditions of streaming services and digital distributors, which may lead to a series of negative effects.

Most streaming services - and Amuse - have over the years implemented sophisticated systems to discover and monitor artificial streaming activity. Engaging in artificial streaming activity can lead to:

  • Streaming services not paying out royalties generated by artificial streams

  • Monetary fines for affected releases

  • Takedowns of affected releases and catalogs

  • Frozen or deactivated Amuse accounts

If any of this has happened to you but you believe your streams were legitimately earned, please contact our support team here and we will review your case.

Focus on Promoting Your Craft (Authentically)

Most streaming services operate on a “shared pool” model for royalties, which splits all income according to the total number of streams accrued. Artificial streams steal rightful revenue from other honest independent artists.

The main message here is, don’t pay for streams.

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.

Have a look at these resources from Spotify to learn more about Artificial Streaming and bad third-party promotional services:

Artificial streaming and paid 3rd-party services that guarantee streams

What is Artificial Streaming?


  • Artificial streams inflate the number of views, streams, followers, or sales of music to manipulate popularity and generate illegitimate revenue. 

  • Don’t use third-party promotion services that guarantee streams, and be very careful and mindful about what other digital marketing services you use. 

  • For some, slightly boosting a stream count can feel like innocent promotion. However, it’s equal to monetary fraud and leads to withheld royalties and monetary fines, as well as track takedowns and frozen accounts.

  • Many streaming services - and Amuse - have sophisticated systems and routines in place to detect and limit artificial streaming activity.

Sometimes artificial streams affect legitimate artists who have not - knowingly or unknowingly - initiated them. If you distribute through Amuse, our support team is always here for you and can help look into your case.