by Graham Pierrepoint
The way we listen to music has evolved massively in such a short space of time! Anyone who uses Spotify regularly will know that the music streaming platform has moved towards creating playlists to match certain moods, times of day and more besides. As well as being at the forefront of providing music fans with millions of artists, songs, albums and more to choose from for a monthly fee (or free with advertising breaks), they’ve moved towards curating collections for regular listeners to dive into whenever they wish. However, the creation of these playlists has come under certain scrutiny lately, with an accusation made by Music Business Worldwide levelled at the firm stating that they are filling their playlists with fake artists to bulk them up.
Accusations come as it is apparent that there are artists in some playlists curated by Spotify that seem to have no apparent presence outside of the streaming service – no discography or media mentions – all the while collecting plays from albums and Eps allegedly recorded by them and collected on certain playlists. The fact that there are artists with millions of song plays and little to no external coverage has caused something of a concern for critics of the service, and for some who care deeply about the music industry – but Spotify has been quick, and keen, to refute such claims.
“We do not and have never created ‘fake’ artists and put them on Spotify playlists”, the firm asserted, further stating that they do not ‘own rights’ and that they pay royalties for everything hosted and played on the service. “We do not own this content,” the company firmly states in response to allegations. However, critics continue to point out that the firm may be paying out for songs under false band and artist names in order to cash in on lower royalty payouts – something, according to Music Business Worldwide, which could still be creating serious savings for them.
Spotify has made their position clear on this matter – and it is not clear whether any further allegations will be mounted – and the firm is yet to make any further statement on such matters. The curious appearance of seemingly unknown artists receiving millions of hits and playlist coverage has caused some concern – but the streaming service has made its defense very clear indeed. What will come of the debate? It will remain to be seen.