In case you’re not aware, Spotify promotion websites are scams. On the surface they look legit, but I can assure you they are not. Since we launched our Texas Music Spotify Chart two years ago, we’ve looked at thousands upon thousands of songs on the Spotify platform. We look at their stream counts, we look at their monthly listeners, we look at the playlists they’re featured on, and we look at the Top 5 places where people listen. Needless to say, we have a good feel for how everything should look and have become pretty good at spotting when an artist has likely been duped by Spotify Promotion Website (and often confirm it with the artist). So with this article, we hope to shed some light as to how you can tell they are scams and the risks artists run when using them.
These websites claim that they have hundreds of connections, partners and relationships and that they can get your track in-front of thousands of listeners if you pay the right price. They literally have a designated dollar amount equal to a designated amount of streams the artist will receive. On Streamify for example an artist can get 2 million plays for $2,250. Tell me how in the world a website can guarantee any artists (who has the money), that they can give them 2 million legitimate streams, regardless of the song quality. I do understand the whole streaming game is new, and with that presents some ignorance and naivety…but come on, you should be able to smell that from a mile away.
If an artist purchases one of the packages, it does increase their streams, but when you look at where those streams are coming from, it’s obvious it’s a scam. All of a sudden you have 4K listeners in New York, 3K in Los Angeles, 3K in San Jose, 2K in Jakarta Indonesia, 2K listeners in the Netherlands, etc…. How do they have the power to get your song in front of so many people in such a short amount of time? How do they reach this many people all over the world? How do they have the power to do this without using playlists with massive followings? And how do they have the power to do all this for not only your song, but all the others that are using their service? The truth is, they don’t. Those hundreds of “partners, connections, and relationships” they have are really just “click farms” . Before you say “well the one I used was legitimate” think about this: how does a website have the power to trump literally everything else you do to promote your music, and provide you with more listeners in out-of-market places, than all of the in-market places you’re touring, getting radio play in, know a bunch of people in, and marketing your social media in? Come on….
If an entity truly had the ability to get your song heard 2 million legitimate times, it would cost a hell of a lot more than $2,250. Or if an entity truly had the ability to take your music legitimately nationwide and international, you wouldn’t be able to buy packages for as little as $5. And if they were legitimate listeners, why do they all disappear in a few weeks? One week you have 3K listeners in the Netherlands, and then a couple of weeks later you don’t even have 3. We all know that’s not the way music works.
So here’s the bottom line….what you’re paying for is worthless. No one cares what your streams are if you don’t have the ticket sales, and actual fan base to back it up. Any talent buyer that hires you based off of your fake stream count is going to be pretty pissed off when you don’t bring anybody through the door and using those websites could actually end up costing you even more in the long run. There have been tons of cases where artists’ albums were removed after using these websites. Remember Spotify has to pay royalties per stream, so if they can tell something fishy is up, and it’s costing them money, they’re probably going to do something about it.
And if they don’t take it down, it will almost certainly result in the artist never getting on an in-house Spotify playlist, which is by far the most powerful tool out there.
I have heard of people using Spotify promoters, where there’s an actual face-to-face person involved, and they get you on a variety of smaller playlists. I don’t know much about them for our scene, but I would certainly advise you proceed with caution and come up with a way to truly evaluate what you’re getting to what you’re paying. For our scene, I don’t think there are enough playlists with a small amount of songs on them, and updated frequently, to justify spending money to get on them….at least that’s my opinion.
So if you’re not getting on playlists, or dropping money on a social media campaign with a link to your song on Spotify, but are looking for a way to boost exposure for your music, you’re better off taking your money to radio and not these shady websites. You’ll at least know your song is getting listened to by real people, and actual potential fans.
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.