“Fake” artists are impersonators who steal music from real, hard-working artists like you and upload the tracks on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music under false names through unsuspecting distributors. These fake artists also create fraudulent playlists with hundreds of fake songs, making them thousands of dollars in royalties stolen from their rightful owners. It’s important as a community that we fight against these practices, and the first step is learning how to recognize them. In this post, we’ll show you what to look for…
How To Detect Fake Spotify Playlists
A Blank Profile
One of the most obvious ways to tell if a playlist is fake is to check out the playlist curators’ profile. Typically, a real profile will have fully filled out bio, profile picture, links to socials, etc. Take a look at the followers, too. A playlist with tons of likes accompanied by a curator with no followers is definitely sus. Alternatively, if the followers they do have also have no profile pics, weird names or no additional info, those are most likely bots and another good sign to stay away.
Offering Paid Placements
Paying to be featured in a playlist is not only against Spotify’s policy, but also illegal. Oftentimes a fraudulent playlist curator will have a bio that claims you can be featured too, for a price. Typically, these playlists are using illegal third-party services, bots and click-farms to amass all those streams. If your own music gets caught on one of these playlists, you risk being removed from the entire platform yourself. Worth the risk? I don’t think so.
Many Different Genres
The whole point of a playlist is to serve you a certain vibe, set a mood, and offer a perfectly curated list of songs. That being said, if you spot a playlist with no specific vibe to it and tons of different genres sprinkled throughout, that’s a red flag. Let’s be real… going from Heavy Metal to Hyper-Pop to Country on a single playlist doesn’t make sense, no matter how diverse your taste is.
Random Related Artists
Click on some of the artists in the playlist and go to their “Fans also like” section. If these recommendations consist of artists who are completely different genres or have sketchy profiles, run the other way. This one may take you some time to vet, but it’s always better to take the time to be safe than to be sorry later. To be safe, I recommend checking 5 or 6 “artists”.
If a playlist is popping off with thousands of followers, shouldn’t the playlist curator themselves also have a similar number of followers on their personal profile? Typically, that’s how this music streaming thing works, right? You gain organic fans of your music and they follow you. (Duh!) That being said, if a playlist has a big discrepancy between the amount of followers and streams on the playlist versus the curator’s profile, this is a big, telltale sign that bots are running rampant.
You may be thinking… “How do these fake playlists even happen?”
Through independent distributors with limited oversight, these “fake” artists swindle their way through the process and upload infringing content right under the distributors’ nose. While these practices are strongly prohibited, these impersonators simply lie, using fake information along with other various tactics hoping nobody notices until it’s too late. This seems too easy to be true, but it works. In fact, it has been working so well that these impersonators have been making insane amounts of money off of music they have zero right to.
That’s why it’s so important to be wary of fake playlists and stolen music. It’s up to us as a community to report activity like this when we see it, do our best to protect each other from falling victim to these scams, and learn how to navigate situations like these when they do arise.
“What do I do if my music has been stolen?”
In the unfortunate case that your music has been stolen by one of these scammers, don’t freak out. There are a couple things you can do. From making sure your copyrights are in order to issuing takedown notices and taking legal action. Before any of these, however, the first thing you should do is report it to Spotify.
To do this, follow these steps:
- On the desktop app, right-click the playlist title or artist name.
- Select Report. A form will open in your browser.
- Complete the form and Submit.
The next thing you can do is make a legal claim on the content. Each report is investigated on a case-by-case basis, and any content that is deemed inappropriate will be removed. To make a legal claim, click here.
Back in July, Symphonic Distribution acquired the music industry marketing collective Streaming Promotions. Since then, we’d like to break down exactly what we do and how you can benefit from our services right here. Here’s everything you need to know.
Everything You Need To Know About Streaming Promotions
What is it?
Streaming Promotions is a Marketing Agency that works to push your music organically through relationships. They have connections with over 1500+ playlist curators on Spotify and over 3000 playlists on the platform. They don’t pay for placements or use artificial streams, it’s all based on true human connection.
They start by understanding the client’s sound and focus tracks in a general process – tagging all genres, subgenres, moods, feelings, themes, sensory words, actions, SEO friendly words, similar artists that they believe describes you best. From there, they cross reference all the playlists they have in their network to decide the best strategy for you.
How does it work?
The best way to gain traction on streaming services is to grow monthly listeners. These fans help to grow adoption into algorithmic playlists. These algorithms assist in finding new listeners based on your existing fanbase. The larger the fanbase, the larger the audience the algorithm can find.
Streaming Promotions does this through a couple methods, first of which is through their Campaigns.
- With campaigns, they analyze their vast relationships and create a total marketplace for your project. They reach out individually to each curator and provide information specific to each artist. Then, they email you weekly reports and will schedule a call with their team at the mid-point of our campaign to discuss the progress.
Their next specialty is Song Pitching.
- With this, their promotion team will pitch your tracks (up to 5) and work to get your music featured on Spotify playlists.
Ready to get started?
Despite Symphonic’s acquisition of the service, Streaming Promotions is still a free-standing entity, offering their services to artists and labels world-wide. What’s new is the application of Symphonic’s technology and infrastructure to help double down and continue growing our business, clientele, and services as a team.
That means you get both the power of Streaming Promotions AND Symphonic combined. 🔥
You’re an independent artist who’s trying to promote your new release. You updated all your social media accounts, threw a release party, and even updated your EPK. So, now what?
A great way to get your music heard is through the use of Spotify playlists!
To do this, you must catch the eye of a Spotify playlist curator, the people in charge of picking YOUR songs and adding it to the appropriate playlist.It also will expose new crowds to your music and have the potential to increase your followers and listeners on Spotify. This also has the potential of catching the eye of a curator as they see an increase in popularity. Numbers don’t lie!
If you’ve ever wondered how to create a Spotify playlist then keep reading!
Follow these tips to learn how to create a Spotify playlist:
1. Get creative – Choose a theme!
Playlists can be curated and customized to practically any mood or genre these days.
In fact, playlist themes can even be based off of specific holidays, events, or other monumental time periods symbolizing a specific music type. These can be as simple as “Party Music” or “Slow Songs”.
2. Get going – Pick your songs
Spotify playlists can contain up to 3,333 songs and still be playable in offline mode. However, most playlists are made up of way less songs and we suggest having a minimum of 20-30 songs for your own! The songs should be from a variety of different artists, not just your own stuff, but still hold true to the overall theme you chose in step one.
3. Publish it and share your playlist
Playlists always do better when shared through multiple platforms! By exposing your followers on other social media sites you are increasing the likelihood of your playlist being heard!
You can easily publicize your new Spotify playlist by adding the link in your next tweet or putting it in your Instagram bio.
4. Keep it fresh – Update it!
Continuously update your playlist with new bands and songs. Maybe do a weekly or monthly update that fans can consistently follow for music suggestions. This way you will not only be keeping fans excited about new content but you’ll also be able to grab the attention of new fans and curators while keeping your OG fans satisfied at the same time too.
When it comes to Spotify playlists, the possibilities are endless! The creativity and effort involved in the creation process is completely up to you.
Don’t be discouraged by low follower counts or streams, as Spotify curators are always on the lookout for hardworking artists with great new music.
Spotify offers thousands of playlists meant to fit your every mood. Most of us save these curated playlists for things like going to sleep, working out, doing homework, etc. However, we’re all different. Not everyone falls asleep sleep to lofi beats or gets motivated to kill their workout by Cardi B.
Spotify took note of this, and they’ve implemented a killer solution.
Spotify now offers personalized playlists for each listener based on their particular taste. This means that for those specific playlists, no two will be the same. This applies to some, but not all Spotify editorial playlists, so they’ll be rolling out a blue “Personalized” badge to help signify which ones apply.
Although this seems like a solution specifically targeted towards users, this is great news for artists as well. Now, your music is in front of the best audience and listened to by just the right people.
Back it up
When Spotify first started testing this new system, they found that listeners were more likely to listen for way longer than before. These personalized editorial playlists increased the number of artists featured on playlists by 30%. The number of songs listeners were discovering increased by 35%. After discovering a song through a personalized editorial playlist, the number of listeners who looked for the track on their own for repeat listens was up by 80%. Additionally, the average number of times a listener saved a track went up 66%. Can’t argue with facts, ya’ll.
This all sounds fine and dandy, but Spotify determines these playlists through algorithmic processes based on individual listener habits. This means if your song is on a personalized editorial playlist, it might not appear in every user’s personalized version.
Please refrain from smashing your guitar in an annoyed rage, artists. Spotify has rectified this by creating unique links to these playlists for artists to share via Spotify for Artists and Spotify Analytics. Anyone who clicks the unique link will see a personalized version of the playlist with that artist’s track in the #1 spot. There is no longer the need to worry about your followers not being able to find your song among so many others in the playlist.
You’ll find these links on Spotify for Artists seven days after the date when your song dropped into the playlist. When listeners click that link, your song will remain on the top of the list for 24 hours. After this, the track reverts to its initial position or removed from that user’s version of the playlist. When your songs get added to one of these playlists, you’ll receive an email notification, so you can make sure to share the good news with your fans.
Never miss a beat, and optimize how you can get the most out of Spotify by sharing your music with the people who will appreciate it the most.
In this DSP era, getting discovered in such an insanely crowded space is the main focus for artists looking to make it big. Platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offer MILLIONS of tracks. How is it possible to get recognized as an independent musician trying to break through the noise? Well, playlisting can definitely help.
6 Marketing Strategies To Land On Playlists
Spotify users spend half their time listening to playlists that they create themselves, that are algorithmically generated, or are curated by tastemakers. That being said, getting yourself featured on a playlist with a huge following can facilitate a whole new level of growth for you and your featured track.
Getting on some of these curated playlists can tricky, but there are many things you can do to strengthen your chances.
1. Prioritize Social Media
Your audience engagement across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are very important to DSP editorial teams and third-party curators. Your social media engagement is a reflection of your fandom both online and off. But remember, social traction is relative.
Getting 200 likes on a post normally isn’t that big of a deal, but for someone with only 400 followers, that’s noteworthy for sure.
2. Reach Out To Blogs and Publications
Reviews, interviews, and blog/publication write ups that back your sound can help, not only raise awareness of your existence, but also vouch for how great you and your music are. (Especially when most articles include a link to whatever you’re promoting right now.) This type of press will help you direct traffic to both your streaming and social media profiles, and if people like what they hear, you’ll be sure to gain some adds on their personal playlists too. It’s a win-win.
However, definitely make sure your music relates to whoever you are reaching out to. Do your research. Writers all have different tastes, and not every song is suitable for every blog or publication. Be respectful with your outreach to avoid wasting both your time and theirs.
3. Get The Most Out Of Your Streaming Profiles
To catch the attention of playlist curators, the key is to be consistently active on your streaming profiles to show you’re committed to your craft and ready to collaborate. Make sure your streaming profiles are up to date with the most current info about new songs, upcoming shows, etc.
If you haven’t already, there are four main things that you should take care of first:
- Get verified. // Being verified on your socials is an extremely important part of establishing your artist presence on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
- Get more followers. // Growing your followers on social media is important, but so is growing your followers on your streaming profiles. Ask the followers you have on your socials to follow your artist profile on Spotify/Apple Music. These streaming services put a lot of focus on follower counts since it’s a direct way to gain new listeners to their service.
- Spread the love. // Show your support for these platforms by making sure your website/socials all point back to your content on these DSP’s.
- Make your own playlists. // To help showcase your music taste, create a few playlists of your own! This shows the DSP’s that you’re committed to curating content on their platforms, provides your fans with shareable content, and introduces your music to new listeners via genre-based playlists.
4. Help Algorithmic Playlists Find You
Algorithmic playlists are auto-generated based on things like listening history, trends, and most-shared music. Spotify’s algorithm is also taking note every time people save your music to their queue, library, or their own playlist and takes into consideration the number of followers you have. All these factors can help you land a spot on one of these playlists.
5. Help user-curated playlists find you
If you didn’t know, there are tastemakers who aren’t among a DSP’s in-house playlisting team who create curated playlists. These are the people out there making playlists independently, who have a lot of followers, and who the DSP’s trust as a respectable source for new music.
The first thing you should do is reach out to them via following them on Spotify. Then, you can go ahead and share your track with them. Include a note asking them to consider adding your song to one of their playlists. Whether or not they decide to add your track is largely influenced by your social presence. If you’ve got a lot of followers, this could be the thing that convinces them to give you a shot and close the deal.
6. Have a good ass pitch
When you’re going about pitching your track to be included on a playlist, make sure you include any and all relevant information you’ve got, like specific details about the song/genre, your vision going forward, and the story behind the song itself. You want to include anything that’ll catch the curator’s attention and help you stand out among the crowd.
This is also where you get to throw in all those important marketing drivers. DSP’s take everything into account. They look at past streaming numbers, off-platform promotional plans, social stats, etc. Be as thorough as you can when explaining your overall campaign around the release.
Additionally, you want to make it easy for these curators to decipher where your track will fit in among their playlists. To do this, you need to describe your sound as accurately and specifically as possible. Come up with some tags that describe the mood and genre your song fits within. All of this will help them place you on a playlist that’s perfect for you and perfect for the playlist.
The most universal way to catch the interest of an influential curator is to simply have great music.
If your listeners are loving your song and you’re getting a lot of organic traction before it’s even been playlisted yet, you’re already on the right track. If your listeners see how great it is, whoever you pitch the track to will see it too. All in all, DSP’s want to see the story behind your tracks. Each song on their playlists tells a larger narrative, and your marketing efforts on social media, blogs, publications, etc. are what’ll illustrate your story to curators.
Ultimately, there’s no perfect method or process to get you on these coveted playlists, but with a little luck and a great strategy, all your hard work will pay off. If you have your release ready and, want to submit Marketing Drivers for us to pitch it, this is how…