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Spotify accused of defrauding stream numbers and underpaying artists. Again.

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In an effort to save money, Spotify have been paying producers upfront to compose music under non-existent monikers to fill up its premium playlists, which allow for maximum exposure for its content. The fraudulent process allows the streaming giant to evade future royalty payouts despite garnering millions of streams on some tracks.

According to an article by Adam K. Raymond on Vulture: “Placing these fake tracks in high-ranking playlists limits the opportunities for real music-makers to make money.” Spotify has not responded to these accusations.

This type of situation makes it very difficult for the listener as they have to sift through a plethora of artists that aren’t even real, just to find what they’re really looking for and enable the streaming service to evade paying royalties on popular songs. According to the report, many of the service’s most popular playlists like “Ambient Chill” or “Sleep” are stacked with one off producers whose tracks, suspiciously, have millions of plays.

The music streaming business has proven to be a lucrative one, but not for the artists.

Thousands of streams earn artists barely enough to buy a cup of coffee and it’s proven difficult for genuine smaller artists to nuzzle into a spot on Spotify’s high-ranking playlists to boost their royalty checks. Meanwhile Spotify continues to post sky high earnings topping $2 billion per year, as their artist payouts continue to go “way, way down.”

The allegation that the streaming service underpays artists is not a new one, but the fraudulent monikers are a novel addition to an undying argument.

H/T: Vulture

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