The Anatomy of a Spotify Playlist Scam
A couple of my musician friends on Instagram told me that they’d received DMs from out of the blue which guaranteed that their songs would be added onto Spotify playlists and would receive thousands of streams.
I also experienced something similar on Twitter: here’s a direct message I received on Twitter from someone purporting to work for Spotify:
We work for spotify, we help promote hundreds of clients there.
We have access to hundreds of playlist we won’t know which one you’ll be added too until we start the good thing is we garunteed thousands of organic streams during our promotion services and mention you soon as we start swe deal with all genres as well
$35 for 5 days of promo
$60 for 10 days.
$75 for 2 weeks
$90 for 3 weeks
$150 for full month
These are all deals we have today.
Usually it’s starts at $150
This is a deal to help upcoming artist and producers building a real fan base bringing in thousands of streams! Organic
We mention u soon as we start so u know it’s up and running.
24hrs right after the payment
The promo is it being added to playlist which brings in thousands of organic streams.
This is all legit and usually starts at $150
But we are doing the cheap deals this month only.
We mention you daily on Twitter with the playlist you’ll be added too as well so you know everything is up and running
Do you have paypal as well or square cash app or venmo?
The cheapest deal is $35 which these deals are way more, these prices u dont want to miss
I contacted official Spotify support over at @SpotifyCares on Twitter to see if this offer was legit. Here was their response:
Hey there, thanks for reporting this! We’d recommend reporting this via our Infringement form here: https://support.spotify.com/us/report-content/. If anything else comes up, just give us a shout /SB
Musicians can be desperate and may be willing to suspend logic
Now, people generally aren’t naive enough to believe that you can buy real music listeners for a few bucks. However, when musicians have “gone all in” with their music careers with no fallback plan (e.g., getting a university degree or training in a trade), they can get pretty desperate to have their music heard. Therefore, they’re willing to believe anything.
And consequently, the scroungers who offer these services see a business opportunity.
Getting On Spotify Playlists and the California Gold Rush
To explain how this business opportunity works, the historical analogy I like to use is the California Gold Rush of 1848-1855, All these men bought equipment to pan for gold in California but 99% of them found nothing. The only ones who actually got rich were the merchants selling these guys the equipment.
That’s how I see the current situation with musicians trying to succeed: they’re pursuing a dream to become music stars – they’re “chasing their gold” so to speak. But statistically, many of them won’t achieve it for reasons beyond their control. The people actually making money in the music industry consistently are the guys who direct message you on Instagram or Twitter, the industry veterans who charge hundreds of dollars to give music marketing seminars, social media consultants, etc.
Final thoughts and conclusion
I’ve always maintained that the best way to market yourself as a musician is to play live shows – it’s the best way to win over people and have them become fans. Of course, this currently is an impossibility due to the Covid-19 pandemic as live venues throughout the world have shut down. With that being said, online live shows have become increasingly popular and easy to implement through various social media platforms such as Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.
Aside from playing live shows, there are alternatives to getting on Spotify playlists, such as submitting your music to indie online radio stations (which you can find and contact through Twitter) as well as national publicly owned broadcasters such as the BBC in the United Kingdom and the CBC in Canada.
All the aforementioned options are discussed in more detail in my article entitled “Why It’s Hard to Get Your Songs On A Spotify Playlist“.