Spotify is accused of creating fake artists to cut costs


Last week resurfaced the story that music streaming service Spotify bypasses its own royalty system by creating music playlists full of “fake” artists.


It all started one year ago, when the issue was first spread in an article by Music Business Worldwide, then, few days ago Vulture returned on this issue.


What’s going on?


It seems that Spotify is gaming the system of royalty, paying producers to create low cost tracks to fill some of the most listened playlists.

In this scheme, the name of artists would be referred to undercover in-house artists or fake artists.


On Sunday, Spotify pleads its innocence:

We do not and have never created 'fake' artists and put them on Spotify playlists. Categorically untrue, full stop,” a Spotify spokesperson said Billboard.


In a statement to The Verge, Spotify claimed

“We do not own any song rights, we’re not a label. All our music is licensed from rights holders and we pay royalties for all tracks on Spotify.”


In response, MBW published the Spotify’s Fake Artists: Mbw’s Big List (Total Streams). A list of 50 artists that no one knows but who can boast millions of streams.


So, is Spotify using the practice of creating music specifically designed to be spread in generic playlists such as Peaceful Piano, Sleep, Ambient Chill and Music For Concentration, circumventing the royalty system?


The Verge figured out some other useful information and came to an interesting conclusion (read here the full article):


“By way of interviews with the artists behind some of the tracks on the list, The Verge can confirm that many of the artists behind the names on the list are independent musicians. Some have public careers of their own, while others have taken on various roles behind the scenes as producers, commissioned soundtrack artists, or session musicians.”


That’s not the first time that Spotify get some media attention about a suspicion practice. We’ll see next move.


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