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Artificial streaming and paid 3rd-party services that guarantee streams

Paid 3rd-party services that guarantee streams aren’t legitimate.

3rd-party promotional services that advertise streams in return for payment violate our terms & conditions, and using them could result in your music being removed from Spotify.

Any service that claims to offer guaranteed placement on playlists on Spotify in exchange for money are in violation of our terms & conditions, and they shouldn't be used.

Learn more about artificial streaming

Read our guide on using Spotify’s tools and resources to gain an authentic following

The consequences for using these services

When we identify confirmed cases of artificial streaming or stream manipulation, we take actions that may include the withholding of associated royalties, the correction of public streaming numbers, and measures to ensure the artist or song’s popularity is accurately reflected in our charts.

In some cases, we can remove confirmed artificial streams from your data before your Spotify for Artists dashboard refreshes; in other cases, you may still see artificial streaming spikes in your Spotify for Artists data, even though associated royalties may be withheld. Spotify also reserves the right to remove manipulated content from the platform in the case of repeated or egregious artificial streaming.

We share monthly reports with labels and distributors about confirmed artificial streaming on our platform. Based on those reports, your distributor may take actions like issuing warnings or, in flagrant or repeated cases, removing your content from streaming services or suspending your account.

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. They'll work with our team to review, and hopefully get the problem solved quickly.

How Spotify protects against 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 (e.g. 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, hardworking artists on the other side that can be impacted.

Artificial streaming charges

Spotify has introduced a new deterrent to combat artificial streaming, effective April 1, 2024, charging labels and distributors per track when flagrant artificial streaming is detected on their content. (This charge is only applied for very high rates of artificial streaming per track.)

Learn more about artificial streaming charges

We are able to fight artificial streaming once it's attempted on our platform, but the industry would be better off if bad actors were disincentivized from uploading content to Spotify and other streaming services in the first place.

We believe this will meaningfully deter labels and distributors from continuing to distribute the music of known bad actors that attempt to divert money from honest, hardworking artists, as well as deterring the bad actors themselves.

These charges will support our continued efforts to keep the industry and platform free from artificial streaming activity.

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