How Much for 1,000 Spotify Plays? Just $5…

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YouTube music video plays have been getting gamed for years, with major labels one of the biggest buyers.  Facebook and Twitter followers have been notoriously for sale for even longer.

But when it comes to inflated play counts in music, almost everything is now in play, including Spotify.  In fact, Spotify seems to be an increasingly important menu item alongside the usual social media culprits.

Spotify Plays for Sale

This appeared on Craigslist this week in Los Angeles (and probably other cities as well).  But $34.95?  That is downright exorbitant compared to some alternatives, including Streamify, which offers artists 1,000 plays over a three-day span for just $5. 

Streamify says this is legit, with unspecific deejays and tastemakers spinning the track.  “They are 100% natural plays, performed by real accounts and of course are eligible for full royalties,” the company describes on its site, streamify.me.  “Totally unique users will plays your tracks.  All plays are absolutely real and eligible for royalties.”

DMN asked Streamify to elaborate on the sources of these plays, but soon found ourselves getting obfuscated.  “I regret that I cannot disclose the exact method of how we are introducing the songs to the people,” Streamify’s James Scott replied.  “We are using a plethora of ways to do that, as there is no single method that works for all.”

According to Streamify’s site, this is what a simple, $175 package can give an obscure artist over a 23 day period.  In this schedule, the first 1,000 plays cost $5, but Streamify is willing to offer those as part of a free trial.

Spotify Plays for Sale

That starts to look pretty good, especially given the millions of songs receiving zero plays on Spotify.

Spotify Plays for Sale

Streamify says 1,000 is what it takes to start getting noticed (and paid).  Indeed, pumped-up plays — across Spotify and other streaming platforms — can serve a number of ends, including more receptivity from labels, festivals, playlist tastemakers, and fans.  But it also bumps royalties, which are astoundingly low on a single song but can start to accumulate with tonnage.

It’s simple math.  And here’s a pro-tip: once a track has been listened to for 30 seconds or more, a royalty payment is triggered.  That calculation sparked an outrageously sneaky ploy by Vulfpeck, whose ‘Sleepify’ white noise album generated more then $20,000.  Fans, in on the game, placed the album on non-stop repeat until Spotify shut down the party.

It was all beautiful tomfoolery, though Spotify has been on the defensive lately against numerous allegations of inflated plays and paid-for playlist inclusions.  The platform has reportedly been stepping up monitoring of play counts to manage fake plays, especially by artists pumping up streams to generate higher royalties.  That includes the upload of songs bearing similar titles and sounds to top-ranked tracks, as well as repeated robo-playing of ‘white noise’ tracks.

Welcome to the wonderful world of digital music, where (almost) everything is now for sale.  These days, labels, venue owners, festival planners, and advertisers look at social media numbers with a grain of salt, though YouTube, Spotify, and SoundCloud are all subject to fudging in 2016.

 

All of which means — once again — that if a band looks huge online, it could be paid for.

14 Responses

  1. past streamify customer

    be warned. they got my entire album pulled after only 5,000 streams. avoid at all costs!

    Reply
  2. john bono

    I too can attest to getting my album pulled when I bought streams. Avoid I would say.

    Reply
  3. DavidB

    Apart from any considerations of ethics and other boring stuff, if you pay $5 to get 1,000 plays, what do you get in return? It would be very optimistic to suppose that a band/artist would get a payout of more than $0.005 (i.e. half a cent) per play, so for 1,000 plays you get – taraaa! – $5. You might as well dig a hole and fill it in again.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Ha, that is the math there, through there are various costs like time (that you could be using writing music, preparing for a show, etc.) Then again, maybe this sorta ‘zero sum game’ is worth it if you want to get on the map (that is, unless Spotify bans you… )

      Reply
  4. Another streamify customer

    Add me to the list. My single was booted after about 1,600 plays. I did get the royalties though. All $1.34 of them.

    Reply
  5. Robert Jensen
    Robert Jensen

    So many scams in Los Angeles classifieds. More than anywhere on the planet. The guy posting that ad probably found some suckers and made a few hundred or so, went and bought his crack rock.

    Reply
    • Literally Can't Even

      You think Los Angeles is bad? Try Odessa my friend. At least in LA, if you get scammed it’s because you walked into a door that says, ‘Warning: Scam Ahead’. In Odessa, they’re carrying your dead body out a door that has no sign.

      Reply
  6. Rick Shaw

    You can get most anything for $5 on Fiverr. Of course, you get what you pay for.

    Reply
  7. Dsa

    I used Streamify, bought about 7000 plays for a single. I was curious and my Spotify plays was so low (under 1000 plays each track) that I really didn’t care if they pull my album. This was 6 months ago and still didn’t get banned, which is surprising. And I got the royalties for the streams. I didn’t get ANY benefits from those extra plays, there was no impact. My followers are growing REALLY slowly, but at least it’s growing, so now I’m worrying since I read that many people got banned only for 1000 fake plays. lol I’m definitely not gonna buy more fake plays, since it’s a risk and there are no benefits.

    Reply

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