Why do artists fall for fake music promotions?

What you'll learn in this post:
  • Why you are more likely to fall for fraudulent offers without knowledge of the music business
  • Why shortcuts usually lead to a dead end
  • How dubious providers exploit musicians' pressure points in their favor

It is commonly known that there are a multitude of untrustworthy offers circulating in the music market. So why do so many artists still fall for them anyway? It’s a mixture between a lack of knowledge, the belief in shortcuts, and scammers’ slick exploitation of the artist’s pressure points.

The streaming era has ushered in entirely new possibilities for fraud. In many other posts we have already reported on why fake streams are damaging more than anything and how you can spot suspicious offers and playlists. But why do artists, whether unknowingly or on purpose, still make use of these music promotion offers?

Know your business

A musician’s budget is already small enough as it is, so you shouldn’t invest it in fraudulent offers. Nonetheless, many people still do, and there are many reasons why. For one, a lot of musicians don’t do enough research into the workings of the music industry. Additionally, many believe in shortcuts and in buying your way to success. Last, but certainly not least, scammers know exactly what worries and concerns artists have and exploit them mercilessly.

Nowadays, it is very easy to release music and thus have some sort of music career. But it takes more than that, namely a certain level of knowledge about what goes on in the music business (spreading this knowledge is the goal of our magazine). If you aren’t interested in acquiring this information yourself, invite someone into your team who is either willing to do it or is already bringing sufficient knowledge with them.

Shortcuts lead to a dead end

As an artist, you want as big of a reach as possible and a solid fanbase – preferably now. But a music career is a marathon, not a sprint. There are hardly any artists who became stars completely out of nowhere. Just because you’ve never heard of an artist before, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t worked for years to get to this point. Patience is not only a virtue but a must. There are so few shortcuts in the music industry that don’t lead you down a dead-end road.

Scammers know your pressure points

At the beginning, many musicians simply don’t have that many streams and listeners. The scammers know this and claim to have the end-all solution to the problem, all the while keeping only their own profit in mind. It’s how they get musicians to accept offers that they should know from the beginning not to be legitimate. Most of the time, these scammers unfortunately only do genuine marketing for their own business.


All things considered, it is clear that you should never buy a fixed number of streams or followers. It is equally impossible to buy your way into the official playlists of streaming providers – whoever says it is, is a scammer. Likewise, you should be careful when it comes to playlist placements, promotion offers on social media, or paid placements in blogs.

If you see an offer that seems almost too good to be true or extremely cheap, it should set alarm bells ringing. Before booking anything, you should take time for some thorough research. Additionally, ask the company critical questions when you see something suspicious or don’t understand the process entirely. Using some precautions, you can avoid falling for fraudulent tricks that are not sustainable and will only harm your career.