And it was all done without breaking any laws.
Spotify, the world's largest and most-used streaming service, has continued to encounter some persistent annoyances. One of them is the issue with fake artists that has not been effectively resolved as of yet. However, the company has also experienced some clever work from scammers who are cheating the company out of money.
Music Business Worldwide has published a report alleging that an individual or collective from Bulgaria is believed to have created two playlists, "Soulful Music" and "Music From The Heart," comprised of short, fake songs that narrowly qualify for Spotify's monetized 30 second runtime. These playlists, despite having amassed a fairly scant following, climbed the company's confidential weekly playlists. The mastermind(s) behind these obscure playlists were running several premium accounts which looped these collection of fake-songs at all hours of the day, which would significantly increase its royalty accumulation.
While this devious plan would require a considerable outlay at first, it has been reported that "Soulful Music" alone could have netted over $300,000 a month based on these continuous streams. Combined with "Music From The Heart," these two disparate playlists would help accumulate over $1,000,000 in royalties over a span of fourth months.
While Spotify has not confirmed whether or not these reports are true, the company did reveal to Music Business Worldwide that they "take the artificial manipulation of streaming activity on our service extremely seriously. Spotify has multiple detection measures in place monitoring consumption on the service to detect, investigate and deal with such activity. We are continuing to invest heavily in refining those processes and improving methods of detection and removal, and reducing the impact of this unacceptable activity on legitimate creators, rights holders and our users."