Spotify wants to take stronger action against artificial streams

What you'll learn in this post:
  • How Spotify wants to protect artists with legitimate streams
  • What the consequences are when you manipulate streams
  • How iGroove handles suspected fraud

As we have pointed out on multiple occasions, using artificial streams not only hurts all the artists who abstain from fraud – they often also hurt yourself. We have also questioned whether Spotify and other DSPs are consistent enough in cracking down on bot streams and other fraudulent practices. Spotify has now at least communicated that they will tighten the screw once more.

Despite numerous warnings from the industry, many artists are still responding to offers that promise a quick boost in streaming numbers. Spotify makes it clear: “We have a huge team of engineers working on detecting, mitigating, and removing artificial streaming activity across Spotify, so we can protect artists and their legitimate streams.”

When Spotify spots an artificial stream, it might lead to payments being withheld, streaming numbers corrected, chart positions adjusted, or even the music being removed from Spotify entirely. If the music is removed, the distributor will be notified and the artist will have the chance to prove that the streams were obtained through legal means, although few have been successful.

Spotify also points out in their video that you should keep an eye on your numbers on Spotify for Artists when you’ve booked a promotion. You can learn more about how to spot fake streams in this detailed article.

iGroove monitors the streaming numbers of their artists daily and sends out a warning as soon as the numbers start to look suspicious, so that the promotion can be aborted early.

Since Spotify can sometimes be very rigorous in their rule enforcement, correcting streams and removing music without prior warning, another problem arises: Someone could potentially buy artificial streams for another artist to intentionally hurt their career. What Spotify and other DSPs will do in such cases is still unclear.