Artificial streaming on Spotify - How to avoid it?

What is fake streaming?

Fake streaming occurs when music streams aren't from real listeners but are generated by automated means, like computer programs. This can skew the actual listening figures and misrepresent the popularity of tracks.


Notification from Spotify

If you receive a notification from Spotify indicating unusual streaming activity, it's a sign that your music might have been involved in artificial streaming. This could be due to using services that inflate stream counts artificially or unknowingly working with a marketing service that uses prohibited strategies.


How Spotify handles artificial streaming

Spotify takes a strong stance against fake streaming. The platform forbids any transactions aimed at buying streams or securing playlist placements artificially. Detected incidents lead to serious measures, such as adjusting reported stream counts, withholding royalties, and correcting chart rankings. Continuous violations could lead to more drastic actions, such as music removal or account suspension. Starting later this year, labels and distributors associated with clear cases of artificial streaming will face fines per affected track.


Why you shouldn’t use artificial streaming services

Considering all the points mentioned, utilizing artificial streaming to boost your performance on Spotify is not only risky due to the potential removal of your music from the platform, but it's also inadvisable because it detrimentally impacts how the algorithm suggests your music to other users. Since the majority of the "streams" in this case come from bots, you're unlikely to see long-term benefits from the platform's algorithms. This scenario is quite similar to individuals purchasing followers for their Instagram accounts. Though at first, it may appear they have a substantial number of followers, this strategy adversely influences the engagement and visibility of each post shared on their account.


Steps you should consider

  • Review your marketing practices: Ensure that any external teams or services you use for promoting your music adhere to legitimate practices and avoid methods that artificially increase stream counts.
  • Select your partners wisely: Before collaborating with marketing services, thoroughly check them to confirm they follow ethical promotion tactics.
  • Communicate with your team: If you believe your streams are genuine, provide detailed information to your distributor or label about how you’ve promoted your music.
  • Educate yourself: Familiarize yourself with what constitutes fake streaming. Utilize Spotify’s educational resources to learn about legitimate promotional techniques and how to organically grow your audience.


Receiving a notification from Spotify about artificial streaming can be concerning, but understanding the issue and taking the right steps can help ensure your music promotion remains authentic and effective. Remember, genuine engagement with your music is the key to long-term success.