In the wake of a controversy over fake music streams of a French Montana song, the Instagram account of Justin Bieber instructed fans on how to game Spotify and iTunes in order to help Bieber’s new single rise to the top of the charts.
In a now-deleted five-panel post, the singer — or more likely one of his representatives, as the caption speaks of Bieber in the third-person — re-posted a fan’s guide for boosting “Yummy” on the leading digital music platforms.
Along with the post, came the following caption: “Justin really wants that #1 and he is really excited about it as he said yesterday in his livestream. If you don’t want to do any of this it’s totally fine, just ignore the post. ✌️This is tips for the people who actually wants to do an extra effort!”
Among the tips listed in the post was the suggestion that users create a playlist with “Yummy” set to repeat and then stream this continuously overnight.
The post further instructed people not to mute the song but play it softly while they slept. Those living outside the United States were also instructed to use a U.S.-based VPN when streaming the song. This is because Billboard only counts streams from U.S. IP addresses when computing its charts.
The post additionally asked users to buy the single multiple times from iTunes and to only link to the song’s YouTube video on social media instead of re-posting the video there.
While some may dislike what Bieber and/or his people are doing, they are not the first ones to try to game the system in this manner. A similar campaign was reportedly initiated to help boost Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times.”
In 2018, one BTS fan group went one step further: they allegedly distributed over 1,000 Spotify logins to help the group’s Love Yourself: Tear album.