Spotify has responded to a Vulture report which accused the streaming platform of encouraging "fake" artists to record songs for playlists in an effort to earn the service money. The article explains Spotify's motivation as such: "This upfront payment saves the company from writing fat streaming checks that come with that plum playlist placement, but tricks listeners into thinking the artists actually exist and limits the opportunities for real music-makers to make money."

Spotify's response through Billboard denies the claims. "We do not and have never created 'fake' artists and put them on Spotify playlists Categorically untrue, full stop,” writes a spokesperson for the service. "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."

Adam K. Raymond, who wrote the story for Vulture, has cited a report from Music Business Worldwide as his source on the Spotify accusations. Again, speaking through Billboard, Spotify has confirmed that they stand by their statement following knowledge of the MBW source.

Spotify did acknowledge that users continue to attempt to "game the system" themselves (which was the main subject of Vulture's piece). However, they claim they are doing their best to discourage such activity. “As we grow there will always be people who try to game the system," they write. "We have a team in place to constantly monitor the service to flag any activity that could be seen as fraudulent or misleading to our users."