Unmasking the Dangers of Fake Streams: A Guide for Emerging Artists


Octiive Support

| Posted:

January 22, 2024

Unmasking the Dangers of Fake Streams: A Guide for Emerging Artists

In the pursuit of success in the music industry, it's not uncommon for artists to be tempted by the idea of purchasing fake streams to impress peers and labels. However, this seemingly enticing strategy comes with a plethora of disadvantages that can severely impact an artist's career. Have you ever fallen victim to playlist curators promising authentic streams only to discover they were generated by bots? In this guide, we delve into the perils of acquiring artificial streams and provide insights on how to differentiate between fake bot streams and genuine Spotify streams.

What is a fake stream?

Fake streams are artificially generated through bots and scripts, creating irregular streaming patterns that deviate from the behavior of authentic human listeners. Spotify takes a strong stance against this fraudulent activity, adjusting stream counts, limiting exposure, removing songs, and even withholding royalties from artists caught in such acts. This guide aims to shed light on the detrimental effects of fake streams and offers practical tips on identifying playlist curators who artificially inflate their playlist stream counts.

Detecting fake streams:

Spotify's vigilant fraud-monitoring team actively purges artists utilizing fake streams, with many falling victim to fraudulent playlist curators. To safeguard your career, it's essential to vet independent playlist curators thoroughly. While Spotify does not provide a foolproof method for distinguishing between fake and real streams, the following steps can help you make informed decisions.

  1. Ask for Playlist Growth Strategy: When investing in a playlist placement, inquire about the curator's playlist growth strategy. Legitimate curators often employ methods such as Facebook ads, Google ads, influencer promotion, or organic social media engagement. If a curator cannot provide evidence of their playlist growth, it's a red flag indicating potential illegitimacy.
  2. Reach Out to Featured Artists: Similar to checking customer reviews before purchasing a product, reach out to artists previously featured on the playlist. Inquire about their experiences and whether the playlist followers engaged genuinely with their music. Consistent negative feedback from multiple artists is a clear warning sign.
  3. Use Chartmetric to Analyze Follower Spikes: Leverage tools like Chartmetric to analyze changes in follower counts for a playlist. A sudden, sharp increase in followers within a short period may indicate the use of bots. Conversely, a significant decrease might signify Spotify's correction of follower counts and removal of fake accounts.

Disadvantages of buying fake streams:

  1. Miss Out on Valuable Data: Fake streams deprive artists of valuable data that can inform tour planning and target demographics. Genuine Spotify streams provide insights into the most-streamed cities, aiding in successful tour planning.
  2. Fail to Impress Big Labels: Industry insiders can easily identify fake streams, diminishing an artist's credibility. Attempting to deceive big labels with artificial streaming activity often results in the opposite effect.
  3. Risk Exposure Limitation by Spotify: Spotify has strict measures against artificial streaming, including shadow-banning songs and preventing them from going viral. Detection of fraudulent activity can severely limit a track's exposure.
  4. Legal Consequences: Engaging in the purchase of fake streams can lead to legal repercussions. Spotify has a history of suing individuals or entities involved in fraudulent streaming activities.
  5. No Long-Term Growth: Fake streams offer no sustainable growth, as they do not attract genuine fans. Attempts to deceive labels and fans ultimately hinder an artist's long-term success.

In the competitive realm of the music industry, authenticity remains paramount. Artists striving for meaningful connections with audiences should avoid the allure of fake streams. Faking your stream count not only jeopardizes your career but also hinders the growth of a genuine fan base that appreciates your art. In an era where music fans can discern authenticity, the risks associated with fake streams far outweigh any perceived short-term gains. Choose the path of integrity, build a loyal fan base, and let your music speak for itself.