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.
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.