What is artificial streaming and its impact?

What is artificial streaming?
Artificial streaming, also known as fake streaming, refers to any play or listen of a track, video, or podcast that doesn't involve genuine enjoyment of the content by fans. Instead, these streams are artificially generated to increase play counts, fraudulently collect streaming royalties, or engage in identity theft to steal royalties from artists. Learn more about fake streams here.

What are some common tactics used in artificial streaming?
The most common scams involving artificial streaming include:

  • Looping: Encouraging fans to loop a track or album overnight or paying a third party to artificially boost numbers through click farms or bots.
  • Playlisting: Paying a service to guarantee playlist placement for higher stream counts.
  • Identity theft: Impersonating a more popular act when uploading material or releasing an established artist's leaked music under another name.

These tactics can be easily detected by platforms like Spotify and may result in the artist being removed and banned.

What are the risks with third-party services that guarantee streams?
Third-party services may promise playlist placements or a specific number of streams in exchange for compensation, often utilizing illegitimate practices without the artist's knowledge. These services not only threaten the hard work of artists but can also result in the withholding of streams or royalties, or even the complete removal of an artist's catalog from streaming services.

How does LANDR address artificial stream manipulation?
LANDR, along with the platforms and stores that offer artists' music, takes artificial stream manipulation seriously. In cases where a pattern of manipulation is identified, releases can be subject to takedown, and the royalties generated may be withheld.

What is the Spotify Artificial Streaming Penalty?
Spotify may charge a penalty fee when artificial streaming is detected. This penalty fee is charged to the distributor. At LANDR, we commit that non-violating artists will not be impacted by artificial streaming penalties in any way.

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