Artificial Streaming, also called Click Fraud or Streaming Fraud, is when play counts are increased by any automated, deceptive, fraudulent or other invalid means (e.g. digital bots, click farms, payment for placement on playlists, etc.) to boost a track’s popularity, its streams and therefore its revenue.
Streaming services are taking this issue seriously more and more and are constantly working to identify and prevent streaming fraud on their platforms.
This is what Spotify says about Artificial Streaming:
An artificial stream is a stream that doesn't reflect genuine user listening intent, including any instance of attempting to manipulate Spotify by using automated processes (bots or scripts).
We put significant engineering resources and research into detecting, mitigating, and removing artificial streaming activity on Spotify so that nothing stands in the way of our mission of giving artists the opportunity to live off their art, and so that rights holders are paid as fairly as possible for their work. The integrity of this is incredibly important to us because an illegitimate stream means there are honest, hard-working artists on the other side that are impacted.
If a channel considers that some content is involved in artificial streaming activity:
- The channel has the right to take actions that may include the withholding of royalties, the correction of streaming numbers, until the removal of the entire catalog on a permanent basis.
- You may also receive a warning from La Cupula Music.
- In order to prevent fraudulent content to be distributed, the Quality Control team can withhold the delivery of releases that are suspected to be click-fraud until further proof of distribution and publishing rights are provided in order to avoid any issues with the publication of content on all channels.
Please check our Anti-fraud Policy for more information about fraud and La Cupula Music's commitment to prevent it.
There are a number of factors that can be checked in order to avoid streaming fraud, all of which require diligence by the artist and/or its representative:
Third party promotional services that advertise streams in return for payment
An artist can be involved in streaming-fraud from purchasing a shady marketing campaign. If promotional campaigns are going to be planned, we recommend to do your research and only work with reputable companies. There are many so-called marketing companies that appear legit but actually use bots and other methods to artificially increase streams.
These violate channels' as well as La Cupula Music Terms & Conditions, and using them could result in your music being removed from the channels. Any service that claims to offer guaranteed placement on playlists in exchange for money should be avoided.You can read Spotify's blog for a guide to gaining an authentic following through Spotify’s tools and resources.
Among other channels, Spotify is one of the main ones fighting against this malpractice. Please check Spotify for artists FAQ for further insights:
"If this happened to you but you believe your streams were earned authentically, you should share information with your distributor or label about the methods used to genuinely promote the content in question"
We work with channels to review, and hopefully get the problem solved quickly. Your collaboration would be essential to get any issue sorted as soon as possible. This will help fasten the review and approval process and ultimately to make sure there won't be any issues with channels so that the distributed content will be successfully published.
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