Spotify has been all over the headlines recently with its allegations about "fluffing" its highly followed playlists with fake artists.
The original finger pointing began last summer from Music Business Worldwide. They stated that they had inside sources claiming to have information to confirm these allegations. By placing fake artists in their playlists, less room was available for the real artists. This meant that the streaming giant would pay out less in royalties because the Spotify-exclusive artists would receive a one-time payment rather than massive royalty checks.
The detailed and informative article on Vulture deeply mined Spotify's spamming problem, particularly pointing out their ambient instrument playlist called "Sleep." A track by Enno Aare appears. Enno Aare is a band that has a total of four tracks on Spotify and no other songs found anywhere on the web. This was a strong tip that led to the allegations about Spotify-exclusive "fluff" artists.
In a statement made to Billboard, Spotify stated, "We do not and have never created 'fake' artists and put them on Spotify playlists. Categorically untrue, full stop. We pay royalties--sound and publishing--for all tracks on Spotify, and for everything we playlist. We do not own rights, we're not a label, all our music is licensed from rights-holders and we pay them--we don't pay ourselves."
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Music Business Worldwide didn't wait long at all to respond and compile a list of 50 of the alleged "fake" artists.