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Know-how for musicians

Why was my song removed from Spotify?

February 3, 2021

At the beginning of the year, Spotify deleted tens of thousands of songs. Why do such takedowns happen and how can you prevent your song from being removed?

At the beginning of the year, Spotify removed tens of thousands, rumors even say hundreds of thousands, of songs from the platform. Although it’s rare for so many songs to be taken down at once, such takedowns are nothing out of the ordinary. Spotify and other streaming services regularly remove tracks. We explain why this happens and what you can do about it.

If a song or release is removed from Spotify, it usually happens for the following two reasons:

  • Streaming fraud has been detected
  • There is a copyright infringement

Copyright infringement occurs, for example, when an artist uses a beat to which they do not own the rights, or uploads a feature with an artist who has not given their consent (or the label does not know about it).

In both cases your distributor will be informed but only after the song has already been taken down. The distributor has no influence on this. If your song has been blocked, your distributor will contact you and you will have to prove that no fraud has been committed. This is very difficult, because the burden of proof is completely on the artist.

The fact that action is primarily taken against artists is unfair in some cases. For example, if you fell for a supposedly legitimate offer, someone else bought streams for you, or the promotion company you hired messed up. However, Spotify acts according to the principle: Ignorance does not protect against punishment.

How to detect if a playlist is working with bots is explained in this blog post. Here we also show how to recognize fake streams.

If you can’t prove to Spotify that there is no fraud, the song will remain blocked and the streams identified as fraudulent will not be paid out.

How to prevent the takedown

  • Never buy a fixed number of streams
  • Be very careful when buying playlist placements
  • Check carefully if the promotion company you hire is reputable
  • Always double check that you have all the rights to a beat
  • Get written confirmation from the feature that the song may be released

iGroove is aware that there are many dubious offers that are not immediately recognizable as such. For this reason, we inform our artists immediately if we recognize suspicious streaming numbers, so that the promotion can be stopped immediately.

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