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

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.

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,  “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.

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

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.

27 Responses

  1. past streamify customer

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

    • Curious Consumer

      Im curious, did you buy them all in a rapid bulk? I have received over 30000 with no issue, but I also get quite a bit of organic traffic.

      • PSY-CO

        please suggest me how to promote my music to get that many plays. my song still got less than 1k and it’s not even visible that how many exact plays are there 🙁

        • Violated

          Get every social media and promote yourself in peoples’ DMs.

    • Benny

      Yes bad company I order at full premium plays that payed out 0,0056 and cost 0,005 they handle with care

    • Phillipe Rivier

      same problem here… worked fine for me!

  2. john bono

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

  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.

    • 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… )

  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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. Rick Shaw

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

  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.

    • Benny

      No I only had one suplier that payed out Well and they have restrictions never more then 10% of Your Total when Your above 50k and they ad them with premium plays that play iT 100 % I only use them cause iTS save i dont earn à lot nut have real full plays.

  8. Striker

    I tried out a while ago to test out their service because they were offering premium Spotify plays which pay for themselves. I paid $12 for 2000 plays and when royalties posted earlier this month, I made $14 from those plays. Overall a pretty good service.

  9. the trueteller

    Honestly, I think is almost impossible to be removed from spotify. And I think that all those who claim to be in trouble with these services are lying. First of all because buy fake promotion on spotify, youtube, itunes (etc.) is done DAILY by Major labels. (A few years ago Youtube has removed millions of fake views, especially to Warner and Universal artists, but they still do it, there’re too many possible exemples.) Just think about the case of Salvo Castagna: an unknown Italian singer by buying fake promotion came first in the charts. The Italian institution that compiles the official national charts (FMI) had deleted him because they have certified that his sales were all fake! Nevertheless Salvo Castagna is still on Spotify with MILLIONS of fake plays. Come on… Social-media companies need this system. Like Facebook that provide you tons of fake “likes” by fake profiles if you buy their official promotion with the goal of “increase your fanpage likes”

    • JEsus

      Sorry but our 2 albums got pulled from Spotify EVEN when we didnt even buy any scam plays. Spotify sucks big time, its all under record companies, if a independent artist gets few 1000 plays they wont like it and get you pulled out. AVOID SPOTIFY AT ALL COSTS.

      • the trueteller

        I Spoke with some “experts” of digital distribution and many of them never seen an artist pulled out. It may happen (especially in the past) because not-organic attitudes could add a red flag.

        Example: If your mate plays your music in his car every day and he is not your follower (and he is pretty the only one that to this) you’ll probably get a big red flag. Because seems like you’re faking your popularity and Spotify doesn’t want to pay you for a fake popularity on his network.

        Anyway a good distributor will upload your music again.

  10. John Laman

    I have Tried and worked fine! prices are probably higher but the quality is better, they have ban free service.

  11. Lance

    Steamify is suddenly not taking orders. I had one still in progress that doesn’t end for 14 days and suddenly no plays. I tried the phone number, but no one will pick up. I have used them for two years with no problems and they have been great. Anyone have any ides what happened> I get a message they will take orders soon again, but I’m still owndering if I’ll get my other plays I paid for