Facebook likes, Instagram followers, Spotify plays – what do these things have in common? Artists want them. Artists feel like they need them to be recognized in the industry.
Fair enough. There is a lot of pressure to play a numbers game.
So long as artists want these things, there will be shady services out there offering the easy way out – buying streams (or followers or likes).
These services are tempting for many, many artists. It looks impressive to have a Spotify page full of songs with thousands of plays on them. Artists aren’t usually buying these services because they are shady. They’re just looking for legitimacy, validation, and anything to give them a leg up.
But it’s just a bad idea. Plain and simple.
I’ve written before about why buying followers and likes is a bad idea, and I will share with you why buying streams on Spotify is an equally bad move.
Read this first before buying streams.
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You Don’t Want Fake Spotify Fans, You Want Real Fans
Buying thousands of streams is like telling a promoter that you sold 100 tickets, when you actually sold 20. Not only is it untrue, it’s also embarrassing and harmful to your career.
I find it absolutely cringe-worthy seeing artist Facebook accounts with 20,000 likes that are getting six people reacting to their posts. It’s so painfully obvious that the artist bought those followers!
This is way worse than having 200 fans that are actually engaged. 200 fans that are reacting to your content and sharing your music shows me potential. 20,000 fans that don’t care/aren’t real – doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Having thousands of Spotify plays is not about “having thousands of Spotify plays”. It’s about having thousands of people actually listening to your music.
Most people’s music career is a slow build over years, and it’s like that for a reason. Organic growth is sustainable growth that will carry you through the years. Buying followers and hoping that somebody in the industry will notice you is not going to work.
Industry People (And Just About Anyone) Can Spot Fake Plays
So, we’ve established that buying plays is bad once people find out that you’ve done it. What is worse, is that it’s very easy to spot fake plays.
When an artist hires a music service to boost their plays, it’s usually over the course of about a month or so.
For that month, their Spotify account will look great. They’ll have thousands of monthly listeners and thousands of plays on whatever tracks they are paying for.
The problem is, next month, and the month after that, those monthly listeners drop off the map. It’s completely possible to go from having thousands of monthly listeners to having six.
So, if someone looks at your account, sees you have thousands of plays but only six actual listeners, it will be very obvious to them that you’ve bought streams.
Further, most songs that get tons of traction on Spotify are in large, popular, curated playlists. If somebody is looking at your account and sees that one song has a bunch of plays, but that you are not on any major playlists, it will be clear that something is afoot.
Finally, if you have a ton of plays but no actual followers, that also sends a message to people looking at your account. The true measure of fans of Spotify is usually followers.
To be fair, some artists get placed on big playlists even though they don’t have large followings. So, it’s possible to have a lot of plays and few followers and have done nothing wrong.
Instead of buying bot plays though, just go after some Spotify playlists by making great music, applying for them and putting in the work.
Spotify Or Your Distributor May Suspend Your Account
Depending on what service you use, either your distributor or Spotify may notice that you’ve purchased streams and they will probably suspend or deactivate your account.
Generally, if an artist gets a ton of streams over the course of a day or a week and it doesn’t make sense based on that artist’s previous history, Spotify will notice.
At best, they will remove the streams. At worst, they will take down the song and suspend your account.
Basically, if your song gets 10,000 streams, Spotify needs to compensate you for that. Even if they are fake!
If your distributor keeps sending Spotify artists that are racking up fake streams and costing the company money, that looks bad.
So, on both Spotify’s end and on the distributor’s end, they don’t want you faking those streams.
How to Spot Services Offering Fake Streams
In fairness to artists using these services, the companies selling fake streams work hard to make their services looks and sound legitimate.
They may sell their services as “playlist plugging” and put you on a popular playlist. However, the playlist itself may not be legitimate. Either the followers are populated by bots or they use a click farm – whatever it is, it’s not legit.
It can be hard to tell who is selling a service that will pitch your song to curators and work for you, and who will take your money, and get you streams that aren’t real, which may get you in trouble.
Here’s how to spot fake stream services:
If The Company Does Not Listen To Your Song Or Give You Any Feedback On The Song At All, It’s Probably A Bad Company Or A Shady, Fake-Stream Service.
When somebody is working your music, they need to believe that the music will fit somewhere. Otherwise it’s utterly pointless for everyone.
No publicist or playlist plugger wants to ruin their reputation by pitching bad music. Any legitimate company will listen to your music first and give you feedback about where they think it fits.
If The Company Tells You It Can Deliver A Specific Amount Of Plays Or Followers Within A Certain Amount Of Time, It’s Not Legit.
No company that is pitching to playlist curators can promise this. There are no guarantees curators will like your song or find a place for it in their playlists.
Be wary of any company that offers hard and fast promises like this, because they either won’t deliver, or will deliver fake results.
If The Company Says Their Service Is “Safe” Rather Than Explaining What They Do, It’s Not Legit.
This one is relatively obvious, but if the company was working your song in a legitimate way, there would be no need to say that the service is “safe”.
The reason shady companies do this is to let customers know that buying their fake plays won’t get their accounts suspended – hopefully!
If The Company Has A Checkout Page That Allows You To Select How Many Plays Your Song Will Get, It Is Absolutely Not Legit.
There is just no way to know this if the company is not using bots. Do not fall for it!
Conclusion, Buy Spotify Plays, A Review Of Why Musicians Should NEVER Purchase Fake Streams
As frustrating as it may be, to get Spotify plays, you need to build a following and/or get on good playlists in a legitimate way.
You are much better off having a few real fans than having thousands of fake ones. You wouldn’t want fake friends, right? So, why have fake fans?