Spotify won’t say where its ‘fake artists’ come from

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They have no Facebook page, no SoundCloud account, no music on iTunes — so why do several unknown artists have such high numbers on Spotify?

According to Music Business Worldwide, several artists on some of Spotify’s in-house playlists are mysteriously absent from the rest of the internet — Googling their names turns up next to nothing other than Spotify, despite them having a high number of streams. MBW contends that these are tracks created by “fake artists,” a.k.a. artists working under pseudonyms, and that Spotify pays a flat fee for the tracks while holding the master copyright.

The MBW story ran last year, and Spotify only just recently commented, in response to a Vulture article which cited the story. The company told Billboard:

We do not and have never created ‘fake’ artists and put them on Spotify playlists. Categorically untrue, full stop. We pay royalties — sound and publishing — for all tracks on Spotify, and for everything we playlist. We do not own rights, we’re not a label, all our music is licensed from rightsholders and we pay them — we don’t pay ourselves.

Notice that doesn’t address the topic of where these mysterious tracks come from, or why they’re so prominently placed on Spotify’s playlists. Surely, if Spotify puts them so high up, they must at least know a bit about the music or where it came from — more than the rest of us can glean by trying to find the artists.

Spotify denies promoting 'fake artists' on BBC

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