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EDM.com Spotlight

Spotify Accused of Creating Fake Artist Accounts for Profit

In case you already didn’t know, streaming has become the predominant force in the music listening experience today. With an estimated 140 million users, Spotify reigns supreme in the music streaming market. While Spotify is widely regarding as the top streaming company, it’s not without its share of problems. Recently, a very serious accusation has been wrought against the Swedish company.


In an in depth write up, Adam K Raymond from Vulture claims that Spotify intentionally creates fake user accounts that push covers of popular songs. What this does is take away plays from the original song by the actual artist, which means that Spotify doesn’t have to pay the artist their fair share of royalties. In an excerpt from his write up, Raymond explains some of the ways that Spotify allegedly cuts corners to avoid paying artists.


On a website with more than 100 million active daily users, there are plenty of ways to game the system, be it for attention, or, if the streams pile up enough, profit. And the frauds cashing in on the latest hot single are hardly alone. A bevy of unknown artists have found ways to juice their streaming totals, whether it’s covering songs from artists who don’t allow their songs on Spotify, or uploading an album of silent tracks, each precisely long enough to generate a fraction of a cent for the artist.

Gaming Spotify does not rely strictly on deception. Some artists, a term used very loosely here, are providing people exactly what they want. It just so happens that what they want is ephemeral nonsense. Take, for example, the artist Happy Birthday Library, whose Spotify catalogue consists of hundreds of personalized versions of “Happy Birthday” streamed more than a million times.

The success of this gimmick — obvious by the sheer number of “Happy Birthday” artists — provides a handy illustration of how much on-demand streaming has changed the way we use music. Twenty years ago, finding a personalized version of “Happy Birthday” for your towheaded son Grover required a trip to the novelty-music kiosk at your local mega mall. Now, you just have to ask Alexa and seconds later the song’s blasting throughout the playroom. The seamless integration of streaming music into our daily lives has encouraged the creation of disposable songs that, years ago, no one would have imagined listening to through speakers. But now that a jazz version of the Gilligan’s Island theme is easily available, why not?

If you’re interested in reading the entire article by Raymond, follow the link.


So what do you guys think? If these allegations are true, will that change your perception of Spotify enough to not use the service anymore? Are there any other streaming sites that you would turn to if Spotify hits a snag? Let us know your thoughts!


H/T: Digital Music News