Fake followers and Spotify playlists give you low royalties, meaningless streams, and reduces your chances of gaining placement on the platform’s algorithm-driven playlists.
Today’s key metric to artists’ success is streams.
So, the more followers and streams you receive, the more bargaining power and monetary compensation you have.
Large Spotify playlists can help you gain more exposure, but here’s the thing:
Many of these large independent playlists are completely made up of fake accounts, which is enough reason to avoid them.
These guys are exploiting artists who want to leverage their popularity in the music business or their names and exposure that Spotify playlists can offer, and it’s affecting not only the artists’ names but also the entire music industry.
If you’re trying to get on Spotify playlists by yourself and gain monthly listeners, then here are the red flags that you should look out for when checking playlists.
1. The same amount of listeners and streams
If your song has added to a playlist and you reached the same amount of listeners and streams on a certain playlist, then it’s most likely to be a fake playlist.
On organic streams or playlists, you’ll have more streams compared to listeners because people tend to play songs many times.
So, having the same amount of listeners and stream count is practically impossible.
In my example below, you can see a normal listeners/streams rate that makes sense:
2. Every follower listens to your track in a single day
Let’s say a playlist has thousands of followers.
Will all of them listen to your track in just one day?
3. Guaranteed streams
Your track’s performance depends on various factors.
So, be careful about the playlists or services that promise “guaranteed streams.”
If Spotify finds out that you’re getting fake followers or streams, then you may get banned and lose your chance to appear on the platform’s homepage, organic playlists, and search results.
4. Suspicious followers on playlist curator profile
Stay away from playlist curators who have suspicious followers without a profile picture and a real name.
It is easy to understand that these are fake followers, which may link to a fake activity in the playlist curator’s playlists.
As you can see in the example below:
5. Playlist doesn’t appear on the ‘Discovered On’ on artist’s profile
Playlists with real activity will appear on the ‘Discovered On’ from the artist’s profile.
So as an artist, you always need to check if the playlist appears on the ‘Discovered On’ of the top artists that have placements on the playlist.
Stay away from playlists that don’t appear there – they are not 100% fake, but you can be sure that they are totally useless for your success!
These are only some of the major red flags that you should be aware of in regards to music marketing companies or major labels on the internet.
Chartmetric.com also offers a user-friendly tool that allows you to see all kinds of analytics like the growth of followers and the songs included in a particular playlist.
By using this tool, you can determine whether the playlist’s followers’ growth looks suspicious or not.
For example, if the playlist had 0 followers before and it suddenly got 50,000 followers overnight, then it’s definitely a fake one.
Why You Should Avoid Fake Spotify Playlists?
Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service, and it’s a great place to build your listeners base and grow your fans.
The platform also knows when you are cheating its algorithm, so bot-based placements and practices like Payola won’t help you gain playlist placements on Spotify.
For more information about this topic, check out my article on Why Payola Won’t Help You Get On Spotify Playlists.
So, if you want to succeed as an artist on Spotify, you should avoid fake playlists at all costs!
And here is why you should do so:
Low Spotify algorithm exposure
Getting your music added to algorithmically-generated playlists such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar can help you gain more exposure.
The platform creates playlists by analyzing how listeners react to your song and how often they add or save it to their playlist.
Spotify’s algorithm also drops in new songs that it thinks the listeners might like and have not listened to before.
The more users seem to like your track, the more the platform’s algorithm will recommend it to new listeners.
So, those fake streams with no real interaction or zero saves will send the wrong signals to the platform and kill your chances of gaining real exposure and placement on Spotify playlists.
Even if you have a lot of streams, it really doesn’t matter because it’s fake.
It won’t help you advance as an artist because those numbers are not real.
So, don’t be surprised if no one buys your merch or attends your gigs.
After all, bots are bots.
Possibility of being banned or suspended
Spotify can detect fake streams, and if the platform finds you guilty of this practice, you will lose your chance to get placed on organic playlists.
The platform might suspend you or take down your album as well.
Low royalty rate
Fake playlists need a lot of accounts to generate streams.
However, they can’t do everything from one IP address, otherwise, they will be discovered.
To solve this problem, they rent several data center servers and then create thousands of accounts.
Remember: people should listen to a track for at least 30-seconds before Spotify considers it as a “stream.”
However, Spotify knows to identify these suspicious activities, and you won’t get royalties when all these streams are coming from bots.
Affects the music industry
As mentioned before, fake playlists are detrimental to the artist and the music industry because they render Spotify’s valuable analytics null and void.
For instance, you won’t really know the top cities for your fan base because this info is tarnished by the fake streams and listeners from fake accounts.
And if you’re paying to gain placements on those playlists, then you are not able to leverage the top markets that the platform provides.
You won’t be able to make the best decisions for your careers, such as where you should hold concerts or gigs.
Moreover, you have missed royalties from the platform, which should go only to artists receiving legit organic streams.
Promoters and brands who want to collaborate with you based on your Spotify numbers will be disappointed too because they will discover that you don’t have the impact assumed from your numbers.
You might lose valuable partners because you cannot deliver what your numbers show.
Fake playlists also misrepresent hones and hard-working artists on Spotify.
It creates an impression that competing artists are not being considered or heard by their genre.
Fake playlists can also cause veteran artists to doubt whether or not they’re still relevant among new emerging artists.
They may feel insecure and suspicious toward new artists, or worse, lose their self-confidence.
However, veteran artists may also pay for fake streams to maintain their market value.
After all, numbers can have a huge impact on an artist’s career.
However, it doesn’t justify the fact that fake playlists can ruin not only your career but also the music industry.
So, what should you do to make sure that your song gets listened to?
There’s one tool that is available at your disposal – social media!
Create a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page where you can interact with your fans and keep them updated with your latest updates.
You can share articles about you and your music or start conversations about your music.
Research what type of content works well on the platform of your choice, and produce it regularly.
If people like it, they will definitely come back for more.
Just make sure that your social media page includes links to your Spotify page so that new listeners can follow you.
And don’t forget to complete the setup of your artist profile on Spotify.
It should include your bio, photo, links to your social media accounts, and info about your gigs, concerts, and releases.
The best way to promote your music on Spotify is to get your song on big user-generated playlists.
There are two ways to do this – contact them yourself, or let the pros do it for you.
If you prefer to go through a trusted way that will be safe for you, then our team at SoundCampaign is always ready to help.
It is important to know that on SoundCampaign, we have an automated algorithm that identifies and block fake playlists, as well as any other suspicious activities that might risk your artist account on Spotify.
Just send your track to us, and we will submit it to our network of independent playlist curators for playlist consideration.
Campaigns last 14 days, and during this period, you will get updates from us about the status of your track.
At SoundCampaign, we always make sure that our playlist curators will provide an honest review for your song.
So you can rest knowing that your track will be sent to the right playlist curators.