Streaming Bots Might Be Tempting, But Artists Should Beware
Given the weight of streaming numbers in the music economy, the idea of employing a streaming bot has a significant allure to bands and artists, but as with so many things that seem too good to be true, using a streaming bot can sometimes cause an artist more harm than good.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
Streams and views are the lifeblood of a music artist. The more you have, the more money you can make and the greater your opportunities are. That’s why many artists feel that employing a streaming bot to jack up their numbers might be a good idea. But like any idea that seems good on the surface, there are problems when you look underneath the hood.
Make no mistake about it, using a streaming bot is buying fake streams, which is against Spotify’s and every other streaming service’s terms of service. If caught that could get you banned from the platform, yet that doesn’t happen often. The reason why is that labels employ bots themselves in order to increase a song’s position on the charts.
The ironic thing here is that labels will hold the use of fake views or listens against an indie artist it might be looking to sign, even though the label does the same thing themselves. How do they know? Generally it takes some minor detective work, but if an artist’s social numbers across multiple platforms don’t closely track the streaming activity, that’s usually a dead giveaway.
Likewise, a streaming service can’t really identify a streaming bot since it’s almost always behind a VPN and just looks like multiple users. What it can identify is the use pattern, which means that instead of mostly listening to a single genre of music like most people do, the bot listens will be spread out across many unrelated genres. Taking it a step further, usually a song that’s getting real traction will appear on at least one legit branded playlist as well. If you have a lot of streams and just appear on a few random playlists, that sends a clear message that you’re using a streaming bot.
The thing here is that employing a bot may provide results that look good for the moment, but can ultimately stymie your career. It’s a turn-off for a label, and may actually get you banned from the streaming services that you so vitally need. Even in streaming, success is the same as it ever was. It’s a slower process than you may like that converts one listener at a time.