Buying fake streams is a serious problem in today’s modern industry. In a world that’s obsessed with stats, it’s understandable why. But the issue runs deeper than just buying streams. Even if you decide to work with a service that claims to be legitimate, they might be using the same illegal methods you’re trying to avoid. Faking success, whether intentional or accidental, is way more harmful to your career than helpful. It’s up to you to be conscious of scammers and misinformation, but we’re here to provide a helping hand.
What is Stream farm: where banks of devices all running services like Audiomack, Boomplay, Spotify continually play the music of the paying party in order to boost their play counts (and, as a consequence, boost their chart position, market share, royalty payouts, or simply their perceived industry “hotness”
According to music marketing agency DigishareAfrica, streaming farms are employed by both independent artists and major labels, who use them to “to push their releases further up the charts.” Sometimes artists are sucked into this economy against their will.
Don’t stream your own music on repeat. On the topic of fraud, it’s also unethical to stream your own music on repeat in an attempt to boost play counts or drive streaming revenue
Why Independent Artists Should Beware of Streaming Fraud
Buying fake streams, along with many other illegal practices, on major streaming platforms like Spotify is nothing new. As easily as fraudulent users can steal an artist’s music to leech royalties, they can also buy streams from illegal third parties or fake them with illegal bots and click-farms.
Although universal technology has advanced enough to let people utilize black hat strategies like these, in recent years Spotify has been working tirelessly to implement their own best practices and technological systems to combat stream manipulation.
[Also read: Difference between A Hit song and A Classic – Here we go ]
Spotify uses “a combination of algorithms and manual review by employees to detect fraudulent streams and aim to remove fake user accounts and filter them out from our metrics on an ongoing basis, as well as to require users to reset passwords that we suspect have been compromised…”
It steals rightful revenue from other independent artists.
Streaming services operate with a system called a “shared pool” model, which splits all income according to the total number of streams accrued. So if the numbers are being sabotaged by fake streams, real musicians with honest streams don’t get the money they deserve.
According to Rolling Stone, “three to four percent of global streams are illegitimate streams…That’s around $300 million in potential lost revenue moved from legitimate streams to illegitimate, illegal streams.”
It limits future opportunities.
Higher numbers don’t equal more talent, and everyone knows it. It’s not hard to tell if your streams are fake, and when they are, boy does it look bad. When labels see you’ve faked your thousands of “listeners”, they share that info with the industry. Then, you’ve lost your reliability and any opportunities that could have transpired had you just been honest and worked for real fans like everyone else.
Your account will be suspended and/or deactivated.
With today’s constantly evolving technology, streaming platforms have adapted to be able to automatically scope out fraudulent streams and artists. Once you’re caught, your account will be suspended or deactivated all together, forcing you to start from square one.
You’re wasting your money.
All the time and money you spend falsifying streams and using black hat tactics to cheat your way to the top could’ve been spent on some legitimate marketing, proper ads, and other perfectly good tactics to organically improve your stats online. The key is to do your research and find reputable services that you can be sure are doing the right thing. Some services will claim to get you thousands of streams or followers overnight, and what they’re really doing is using bots of their own to cheat the system.