A Music Business Worldwide report was published on Tuesday 20th February 2018, alleging that an unknown playlist maker in Bulgaria built two playlists made up of fake songs. Both “Soulful Music” and “Music From the Heart” playlists consisted of tracks that were just over Spotify’s 30 second monetised play time.
According to MBW, both playlists scaled Spotify’s confidential charts, despite having strangely low playlist following numbers. The report suggested that with streaming figures considered, “Soulful Music” could have generated $300,000 a month, which did not align with it’s 1,800 playlist followers.
It is assumed that the scammer had set up a large number of premium Spotify accounts to listen to both playlists on a random loop, 24 hours a day. Whilst there would be have been a significant outlay on Spotify subscriptions, the revenue generated from the strategy could have exceeded $1 million in the four months it was running.
As part of MBW’s report, Spotify commented:
We take the artificial manipulation of streaming activity on our service extremely seriously. Spotify has multiple detection measures in place monitoring consumption on the service to detect, investigate and deal with such activity.
We are continuing to invest heavily in refining those processes and improving methods of detection and removal, and reducing the impact of this unacceptable activity on legitimate creators, rights holders and our users.