What Exactly Is Spotify Streaming Farms?
Before Spotify, radio stations determined which songs would become popular anthems in the United States and abroad.
Radio DJs appeared to have a lot of clout and made money from labels and artists "paying for plays," a practice known as payola.
Payola was a term used to describe an undercover and secret payment made to a radio DJ in order to make a song go viral and become a hit by playing it repeatedly. This was not done in response to fan demand or request.
However, since the launch of Spotify, radio stations have become less important as a source of instant music hits for labels and artists. These same labels and artists are now turning to streaming farms to artificially boost their streams in order to create a hit and make more money with fake & Bot Plays
Streaming farms are a new type of business in which someone sets up a complex tech stack that simulates fans listening to the same song hundreds of times at a specific time.
Do Streaming Farms Actually Work?
Yes! Streaming farms have assisted well-known artists in reaching the top of the streaming charts.
They have also assisted labels in increasing their revenue from streaming royalties. However, as a result of the scrutiny, Spotify is now forced to crack down on this illegal behavior.
The rise of streaming farms has harmed smaller independent artists who cannot afford to pay for this game. It's also unjust to compete with an artist or label that pays for streams rather than competing on the quality of the music itself.
Streaming Farms Perform a "fake it until you make it" Strategy.
Streaming farms are a relatively new concept, and you don't need to be a tech whiz to use one. Streaming farms are services that artificially boost the number of streams a musician's song receives. The idea is that this will increase an artist's hype and increase the chances of his music going viral.
In Australia, a security consultant called Peter Fillmore made royalties by using automated programs in 2013. His song reached the top of the radio charts, but the real numbers were lower. In 2017, the largest case of streaming fraud was uncovered in Bulgaria. The problem is that the inflated number of streams distorts actual revenue. The trick is to get a song to reach enough streams to break into charts and land on editorial playlists, which leads to organic listeners.
Streaming Farms: Are They Legitimate?
NO! Streaming farms are an illegal method of buying spotify plays and earning royalties. Companies such as Spotify, UnitedMasters, DistroKid, and others will not pay you for fake streams if there is even a hint of illegal streaming.
The label and signed artists are the only ones who can afford to pay for streams and have the motivation!
Why? They are having difficulty maintaining their positions on billboard charts and competing fairly with 100% independent artists. The tide has shifted, and more power is going to independents, making labels fearful of losing power and control.
Why Do Labels and Artists Utilize from Streaming Farms?
Signed artists and labels use streaming farms to boost their streaming numbers and climb to the top of the charts. This ensures they receive royalties, but more importantly, it demonstrates that their artists are popular, even if this is not the case.
On Season 2 of Viceland's Black Market, actor Michael K. Williams speaks with an unnamed man about how big-name artists and labels were using his services to buy fake streams. Even smaller artists will boost their streams in order to attract more listeners.
Do You Get Paid For Buying Fake Streams & Plays?
I'm sure some artists and labels got away with it, but Spotify has been cracking down on fake streams in recent years. It's in the interests of streaming services not to pay out for fake streams, but it's difficult to tell what's real and what's not unless it's obvious. If they suspect you paid for streams, you will most likely not be paid as an independent artist.
Be careful, as some artists have been barred from creating distribution accounts on DistroKid, UnitedMasters, cdbaby due to suspicion of using streaming farms.
Fake Streams on Digital Distribution Companies
Many of the top artists' fake streams frustrate both music streaming and distribution companies, and both have decided to crack down on it. Just a quick internet search will turn up some artists and rappers complaining about being banned for allegedly faking their streams on DistroKid, Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music.
DistroKid, Tunecore, Orchard and Spotify are looking for unusual stream behavior. If you receive thousands of streams in a short period of time and it is not consistent or gradual, you may face a ban or have your music removed.