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How To Spot & Avoid Fake Playlists




Which playlists are considered as fake?


Those of which the followers are not real active users but bots / inactive accounts / accounts meant only for such purposes.




Why is it bad getting into fake playlists?


Manipulating your stats with fake followers, fake playlists and other black-hat techniques is pointless. What you should be after as an artist are not the number but the engagement. Engagement translates to REAL interest. Big numbers without real interests lead to nowhere. The major factors of the Spotify algorithm are not streams and followers but listen-time (what percentage of your track's duration is being streamed) and also saves/likes. Large Spotify playlists can help you increase your metrics, but here’s the thing: Many of the playlists out there are completely made up of fake accounts, inactive accounts, that won't provide any real streams to your song, or provide fake streams by being set to "autoplay" or "autoloop". These scammers exploit artists by offering useless services. That is affecting in a bad manner not only the artists but the whole industry.




Why you should avoid fake playlists?


Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming platform, and it’s a great place to build your fan base. But the platform is also dedicated to ban users that do not comply with the rules. Tactics like farm-bots, payola and fake streams won't be tolerated. Once Spotify finds out, they will immediately take down your catalogue and your artist profile, so be very careful to avoid illegitimate tactics. Spotify is constantly analyzing how listeners react to your song and how often they save/like it, or add it on playlist. The more users enjoy or interact with your song, the more likely is that the algorithm is going to recommend it furthermore. So, when you buy fake streams, there is no real interaction or engagement, and thus you are harming your metrics, because Spotify sees that people (robots in our case) listen to your track but they don't actually interact with it, which means they don't particularly like it. And thus Spotify will burry your track instead of recommending it furthermore.



Ways to spot real playlists


Each "alive" playlist, with a real audience of ~1000 followers, is more or less likely to provide 3 to 15 streams per day to the tracks listed on top, and less streams as we go down the playlist. The numbers vary as circumstances are always different. You must understand that the followers generated by an advertisement won't be as interested and active as the fans that followed a playlist organically because they discovered it by themselves. Another example, roughly speaking, is a playlist with 100,000 followers for instance, which should be able to provide 250-1000 streams per day on a track placed on top of the playlist, 50-250 streams per day for the middle-class placements, and less streams as we go down the playlist. Based on that stats you can check the legitimacy of a playlist after a couple of days while having a track added. If the playlist for example consists of 100,000 followers and your track gained only 3 streams per day, then something is totally wrong with this playlist. Also, compare the "listeners" to the "streams" of a track in your Spotify for artists section. If the playlist is legit, it should be able to provide more streams than listeners, as some people tend to replay the tracks they liked. Having the same amount of listeners and streams is practically impossible and a red flag.



How do these services operate?


The scammers that offer fake streams & followers use a lot of automated Spotify accounts to practice their technique. But because they can’t connect all of these accounts on the same IP address, because that will make it obvious to Spotify that they are bots, they spoof different IP addresses using data centers. In order for Spotify to confirm and pay for a listen, the track needs to play for least 30 seconds, otherwise Spotify won't consider it as a valid stream. So scammers set their bots to stream a track for a particular time-length, for instance, 35 seconds. But even if they spoof IP addresses and stream a song for more than 30 seconds, Spotify is still able to identify these suspicious activities, by examining for example how much time each track is being streamed. It is irrational for a human being to play each song for a specific 35 seconds and then skip to the next one. Spotify identifies those streams. At the end you won’t get any royalties from such streams. Keep in mind that the developers of Spotify are much more skilled and sophisticated than the typical underground scammers that are selling fake services.


Avoid "guaranteed" services


Your track’s performance in based on various factors. None can predict and tell for sure how many streams a track will gain, no matter how well-set the circumstances are. Avoid any kind of service that promises certain number of streams or followers. If Spotify finds out that you’re getting fake followers or streams, you will be banned, or blacklisted and miss the chance to appear on the platform’s homepage or even search results.




General tips for selecting playlists


· Be skeptical about playlists that look childish, without any professional or maturity in their appearance or tracks.


· If a playlist provides more than 10 streams per day to a specific track, it appears on the ‘Discovered On’ section of the artist’s profile. So if you are examining a playlist with 20,000 followers that can't even provide 10 streams per day to the artists listed on top, it is certainly a bad one.




The greater impact of illegitimate playlisting


As mentioned before, fake playlists are detrimental to the artist and the general music industry because they render Spotify’s valuable analytics null and void. For instance, you won’t really know the top cities of your fan base because this info is tarnished by the fake listeners from fake accounts. And if you’re paying to gain placements on those playlists, then you are not able to exploit the statistic features that Spotify provides. You won’t be able to make the best decisions for your career, such as where you should hold concerts or gigs. Promoters and brands who want to collaborate with you based on your Spotify numbers will be disappointed too because they will discover that you don’t have the impact assumed from your numbers. You will most probably lose valuable partners because you cannot deliver what your numbers promise.




So what can you do after all?


Pretty simple, use legitimate ways. Follow the rules, don't cheat. You want to get on Spotify playlists in order to increase your streams? Great! Do it the proper way. Run ads pointing to your profile. Find and contact playlist curators yourself. Use legitimate services like playlisterz.com. On playlisterz.com we check manually and verify which of the playlists submitted to be 100% real. Only 100% real playlists can participate in our program, the rest are declined. We use all sorts of practices in order to determine if a playlist is organically grown, and if has active listeners, or if was manipulated in any way.  So you can rest assured that your song will be sent to the right playlist curators.


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