Bots, click farms, and fake streams are one of the worst things that has come out of the modern streaming era.
The goal with these fake streams and bots is to trigger a DSP’s algorithm for a particular track or album so it adds it to more algorithmic playlists, such as the highly sought-after editorial playlists, as well as get a higher royalty payout.
But getting real streams is more valuable than getting fake ones. Bots don’t buy tickets to shows, order merchandise, make donations, or support you organically by sharing your music videos on social media and outings with their friends. So the money wasted on a quick increase on streams that will likely get flagged isn’t worth it. You want longevity as an artist.
These illegitimate streaming promotion services pop up faster than DSPs can take them off of their platforms. It’s like a game of digital whack-a-mole. These bots, click farms, and pay for placement companies are deceptive and could cost you thousands of dollars (and a ban from DSPs’ services when you’re caught).
We recently conducted some research on artists who’ve distributed through Jamvana. Our data concluded that a majority of fake streams were coming from a site called AIOSTREAM, which is a bot application that claims “organic growth” for musicians. They also claim “you can get famous” by “organically” increasing real listeners. It’s about as organic as a McDonald’s chicken nugget.
How do fake playlisting sites and click farms for streaming work?
Third party services, like AIOSTREAM, promise playlist placements or a specific number of streams in exchange for compensation. They often use illegitimate practices without your knowledge. These services can threaten your hard work, resulting in the potential withholding of streams or royalties, or even complete removal of your catalog from streaming services.
Having your music removed from any streaming platform can certainly sidebar any forward momentum you have. Depending on the amount of fake streams on your music, this could also result in your account being permanently banned.
It may seem that your track or playlist are getting traction, but the reality is, they are taking your money to boost their own playlist, along with your music. This doesn’t benefit anyone. Companies like AIOSTREAM are only using it to collect data and scam hard working musicians out of potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars so “you can get famous.”
Note AIOSTREAM’s mention of the “create Spotify accounts for all kinds of email accounts” talking point. After purchasing a “license” to use their application, you’ll be able to create a specific number of fake Spotify accounts with email services like Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. These fake Spotify accounts are then managed through AIOSTREAM’s application, including the passwords.
After the accounts are created, the user can point the application to a specific Spotify profile/playlist/track and stream the music using the fake accounts it just created. Thus, bloating the numbers and causing a spike in streams.
What to do if you’ve purchased fake streams and follows on Spotify before
Admitting wrongdoing is the first step. If you’ve previously purchased streams or playlist adds through a bot farm like AIOSTREAM, contact your distributor and let them know who you purchased them through, when you purchased them, and when/if you noticed the stream increase.
How to get legitimate streams and playlists on Spotify
Jamvana’s streaming partners work diligently to ensure streams are legitimate, meaning they reflect genuine user listening intent. If a service finds that you (or a third party hired by you or on your behalf) have boosted play counts through any automated, deceptive, fraudulent or other invalid means (digital bots, “click farms,” payment for placement on playlists, etc.), the service may permanently remove your entire catalog and there’s nothing we can do about it.
The correct way to approach getting more streams and playlists additions is working directly with your music distributor. Additionally, each DSP may have a process whereby artists can pitch their music to editors for playlist consideration.
Spotify allows artists to pitch music to their editors through Spotify for Artists. This music is sent directly to the Spotify editors and they will then decide which official playlists your music would get the most amount of listens.
Not all companies that offer these types of pitching services are illegitimate. There are agencies out there that can help artists get placed in official Spotify playlists and build out strategies to gain as much traction as possible. Be sure to do your due diligence and research before you hire anybody or company.
Create a Spotify for Artists account to pitch music to Spotify’s editors
To sign up to Spotify for Artists and get access to your catalog, you’ll need a Spotify account and the email address attached to the account. If you’re the first person from your organization to request access, you’ll need the URIs of at least 3 tracks that you’ve previously delivered to Spotify. If your organization has already been set up with us, we encourage you to get in touch with your team admin. If you don’t know who that is, you can submit a request to Creator Support here.
You will need to pitch your music before its release. Spotify doesn’t allow pitching to editorial playlists after a track is released. Jamvana recommends you have your music cued up for distribution at least 4-6 weeks in advance so you have plenty of time to pitch. This also gives the Spotify editors time to review your music and determine with playlists your music would best be placed in. And make sure that all of your metadata is correct.
Head to the Spotify for Artists site here to get started.
Use a music distributor like Jamvana
Using a music distributor, like Jamvana, can help you garner the traction you need on a music streaming service. Distributors have direct connections with the DSPs and work with them almost on a daily basis to ensure the success of their platform and for their artists. Your distributor will never promote or use third party services that use click farms and bots.
Signup and get started with Jamvana here.