A Bulgarian company used playlists on Spotify to earn up to $ 1 million with purposefully short tracks. The scheme was revealed by the specialized website “Music Business Worldwide”.
The company had two lists of songs on the streaming platform, called “Soulful Music” and “Music from the Heart,” which were among the top audiences on Spotify – and consequently more payments for songs played.
How the scheme worked
Spotify found that the lists were followed by less than two thousand users, low numbers compared to large playlists. Most of the songs were from unknown artists (actually created by the company itself), lasting for little more than thirty seconds, minimum listening time for the track to have pay.
The scheme, according to “Music Business Worldwide”, probably included creating hundreds of accounts on Spotify, on devices that listened to the tracks, registered by the company, automatically and uninterrupted. With that, they could get thousands of auditions a day for their tracks.
The fact that the songs were short helped to increase the number of total auditions faster, explains the site, which says access to sources in the company.
Officially, Spotify did not comment on the story and only said that it “takes the artificial manipulation of streaming activity very seriously” and that it is improving its processes of detection and exclusion of these activities. Playlists are no longer on the air.
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I am a 23 year-old brazilian journalist, a classic rock and heavy metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When i became a journalist i knew i wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world!