Artificial Streaming: Don’t Put Your Music At Risk


Artificial Streaming: Don’t Put Your Music At Risk

What is an artificial stream? 

An artificial stream is a stream that doesn’t reflect genuine user listening intent, including any instance of manipulating automated processes on streaming platforms. Usually, this is achieved using bots or scripts to inflate streams. 

Third parties promising playlist placements or a specific number of streams in exchange for compensation are often using illegitimate practices. Engaging these services can result in the potential withholding of streams or royalties or even the complete removal of your catalogue from streaming services. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Our streaming partners work diligently to ensure streams are legitimate, meaning they reflect genuine user listening intent. If a service finds that you (or a third party hired by you or on your behalf) have boosted play counts through any automated, deceptive, fraudulent or other invalid means (digital bots, “click farms”, payment for placement on playlists, etc.), the service may permanently remove your entire catalog.

We’ve put together a list of recommended best practices to help you boost your streams legitimately without landing you in any hot water with streaming services: – 

  • Ask your existing fans on social media to follow you on streaming and social platforms. Monthly listeners and followers on streaming platforms are the most likely people to hear your new releases, engage with your catalogue, and add your tracks to their own playlists.
  • It’s fine to listen to your own music, but when you leave your newest album on a loop for days straight, platforms might take notice and could respond by removing your music from their service altogether because they realise streams are not being generated through genuine listening.  
  • Claim your artist accounts and access the analytics. Most platforms have interfaces that allow you to customise your profiles. Use on-platform marketing tools. 

If you’re looking for a music promotion service, make sure to do your research or reach out to your Label Manager at Absolute for advice. 

You may have seen recently that Spotify has implemented a policy where labels and distributors will be charged an enforcement penalty per track when flagrant artificial streaming is detected on their content. Spotify believes this will meaningfully deter bad actors who attempt to divert money from honest, hard-working artists.

We would like to reassure our labels that any artificial streaming penalties charged by Spotify in no way negatively impacts artists who did not release the applicable violating tracks.

If you have any concerns about promotional services please reach out to you Label Manager at Absolute for advice. Additionally, there are future resources available via Spotify for Artists.


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