How to detect fake Spotify playlists

Navigating the vast world of Spotify playlists can be particularly challenging when dealing with third-party playlists that boast "huge" traffic. These playlists often promise extensive exposure but may not always be genuine. Understanding how to spot fake Spotify playlists is crucial, as they can mislead artists and negatively impact promotion efforts. Here are some key indicators to help you determine if a Spotify playlist might be fake.


Check the playlist curator’s profile

A first red flag is a blank or minimal curator profile. Genuine playlist curators usually have detailed profiles with identifiable information such as links to social media accounts, a bio, and insights into their music tastes or curation style. An empty profile or one lacking substantial information should raise suspicions, especially if the playlist claims to have a large following.


Stay away from paid placement offers

Offers for paid placements in playlists with "huge" traffic can often be misleading. While some legitimate curators do charge for listening to playlist submissions via services like “SubmitHub” or “Groover”, many fraudulent operators clearly communicate fixed charges for playlist placements and use this as a way to exploit artists. True curators focus more on creating a cohesive and engaging playlist suited to their audience's preferences rather than merely collecting fees. If payment is pushed without regard to musical fit, consider it a potential warning sign of a fake playlist.


Diversity of genres

Authentic playlists usually focus on specific genres to cater to targeted audiences. If a playlist features an overly broad range of genres, it could indicate it’s not curated with a genuine audience in mind. Playlists that attempt to cover everything from classical to hip-hop may simply be trying to maximize reach rather than genuinely promoting artists.


Risk of fake streams

It's important to note that Spotify monitors for fake streams, which are often associated with fraudulent playlists. If a track accumulates too many fake streams due to being featured on such playlists, Spotify may remove the track entirely to maintain platform integrity. This can severely impact an artist’s presence and credibility on the platform.


Playlist Growth

Another obvious red flag is the growth of a playlist. If a playlist has gained several thousand followers overnight and suddenly stops gaining followers, it's usually a clear sign that the playlist is being botted. You can get more details about a playlist by looking it up at, which is a free service by the way.


Learn more

For further reading on how to refine your approach to playlist pitching or to understand why some pitches fail, visit these posts on our blog:

Identifying fake Spotify playlists, especially those claiming to have "huge" traffic, is crucial for protecting your music. Watch out for vague curator profiles, suspicious paid placement offers, and playlists that cover too many genres. Also, remember that fake streams can lead to Spotify removing your tracks, which can hurt your presence on the platform. By staying alert and informed, you can ensure your music reaches the right audience and supports your growth as an artist. Always check carefully before working with playlist curators to make the most out of your music promotion efforts.