· By Matej Harangozo
Spotify TAKES DOWN THOUSANDS of Songs Through Distrokid For Fake Streams
Spotify Removing Songs from Library?
Spotify (or DistroKid) has taken down 15,000 different songs as of January 1st, of artists that are claimed to have botted playlist streams from third party playlists. Spotify Removing Songs is literally the hottest story right now in the last few days. People are saying not to distribute through DistroKid because they're taking down artist songs if they believe they had botted streams from third party playlists, & that it's not Spotify, so on and so forth.
Let's break down the facts.
Let's first start with telling you that we know firsthand from some of the clients that have came to us after they had their tracks shut down in the past. They've come from different distributors as well.
Second fact that we want to give you guys is that Spotify owns a minority stake in DistroKid. Minority stake can be anywhere from 5% to 49% of the company. Majority stake is 51%. For this example, let's say that they own like 15, 20 percent, whatever the case is. And that's the only indie artist distributor between CD Baby, United Masters, Tune Core and distributors like that, that Spotify actually owns a stake in. So think about it. They can control kind of what DistroKid does, right?
Third of all, let's look at it this way. Some of the things we've looked at are saying that the artist will get a message from DistroKid saying that Spotify alerted them that they had lot of suspicious streams and they will take the song down. The artists then are emailing Spotify. Spotify is like "hey, talk to your distributor." Then the distributor, which is DistroKid, will email the artist back and say, "hey, Spotify said xyz."
Think about this, Spotify has had a major issues with third party playlists in the past and they have to pay out for all these streams, whether they're real or fake. That means it's taken away from Spotify's bottom line. It's hurting Spotify's pockets if there are more and more fake third party playlists so Spotify Removing Songs should be no surprise to compensate for the loss.
This gives Spotify the perfect excuse to not seem evil and to pass the blame on the distributor that they own a stake in. They can say "yes we've taken it down, but go talk to the distributor", which is making the industry think that the DistroKid is the culprit.
There have been reports saying that DistroKid owes Spotify money, so let's talk about another fact. That's not how it flows. DistroKid doesn't pay Spotify. DistroKid is the aggregator that will get your tracks on all the major platforms. Platforms like Apple Music and Spotify will pay DistroKid after some time on the stream. So what is DistroKid paying Spotify for?
Maybe they're not paying them the profits from the DistroKid revenue? It may be the case that there's something behind the scenes that we don't know. We're not saying this is not the case, but the way the money flows for all these distributors is that Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon music, Pandora, Google Play, you name it, pays the distributors who then pay you. Some distributors like United Masters, Stem, and Empire, will take 10 percent off the top and so on and so forth before they give you the money. But ultimately, the money flows from the streaming companies, down to the distributor.
We've been reading some stuff from Facebook where people are saying that it's not just artists that have fake bot streams and all of that, but some pitching companies as well. The problem we've found from spending a lot of money on third party playlist like a year ago, is that even these companies that are pitching to these third party playlist, they do not know the quality of these third party playlist. Unfortunately, 95% of these third party playlists are trash in terms of quality of listeners. They're either 30 percent of bots sprinkled on top or they're constantly creating ads to chase listeners that are low quality. The reason they're low quality is because these playlists and companies are willing to take money from, and put anything on their playlist, which lowers the entire quality of the experience for the listener. This means listeners never stick with them. So they're constantly chasing new listeners. And then, of course, to make them even better, they sprinkle a bunch of those bots on top of it.
The moral of the story is that there may be a situation where Spotify takes a strong action in the next coming months where anything detected with a bot stream, the playlist will get shut down and potentially actions are going to be taken against the artist that did that.
Look, you can't pay any playlists on Apple Music to put your music on their playlist to grow the streams. The playlists that exist on Apple Music are from somebody like Ebro in the morning or the NBA which has their own playlist, a video game, major influencers or channels like Apple Music Radio, or the beats one radio, which have their own playlists. You can only get on those playlists through relationships and through other means. You can't just pay to get on it.
We're not saying in some cases under the table money isn't being passed around to get on these playlists. What we're saying is that Spotify has created an ecosystem where it enabled a lot of companies to create a bunch of fake playlists which are now hurting artists. We've been talking about this for months. So we just wanted to let you know from everything we understand, that it's not DistroKid that has taken down your songs. It's probably Spotify.
It's a perfect excuse for them to do it through DistroKid because they own a stake at their company. So they have more control to wipe their hands and say, "Well, look, don't hold us responsible, talk to the distributor" and the distributor will send you back saying, "Talk to Spotify. They're the ones that made us take it down." It's a perfect game for Spotify because guess what? Spotify does not have to pay out money for these streams. So that's our two cents on this whole situation.
So, again, the facts are that Spotify owns a stake in DistoKid so Spotify Removing Songs The way that money flows is from the streaming services to the distributors THEN down. Artists are going to continue to be taken off the platforms.
The last thing that we want to mention again, artist's songs were taken down from Spotify, even if they're going through other distributors like Ditto music, CD Baby or Tune Core. So it's not just DistroKid that is taking it down, which is what it seems like right now.
Our recommendation is to stay away from third party playlists & advertise the correct way, direct to consumer. Go through influencers or tiktok campaigns, whatever it is, but DON'T get on third party playlists. We would avoid them at all costs unless the playlist is owned by LeBron James and he's going to put you on it because of the strength of him liking your song, or it's like an old Navy or Macy's playlist which has a curator. And again, they choose and pick who they want to put on it. Generally places like that do not charge to get you put on those playlists.
At the end of the day, just do the thing right. The fake streams and and listeners are not the move. Yes, you may get paid for it, but it's only going to get you shut down at the end of the day, & it's not giving you real fans. You may make a couple of thousand dollars extra before you get shut down, but in the long run, it's not taking your artist's demand or your brand to the next level by any means.
We're going to leave you with that, if you've any comments, let us know below. If you want to get in touch with our team, the link is here to contact us.
View the video Matej posted on his Youtube below for reference!