Streaming farms are regarded as some artists’ easiest gateway to topping music platforms, making them feel more important and successful than others particularly when they or their record labels can afford the fees.
While on the flip side, it’s the greatest nightmare of some others. Those regarded as the genuine hustlers in the music scene, who work really hard but don’t have their songs top charts because they can’t also buy these streaming platforms as a result of the ‘exorbitant fees’. They end up looking like ‘failures’ or considered musicians who have gone under the radar.
The discussion of streaming farms continues to reverberate across Twitter and other social media platforms as singers lend their voices against the practice.
Below are things you should know about streaming farms;
Streaming farms are services designed to inflate streams or add a lot of fake listens to a song.
By taking advantage of the business model of streaming platforms like Spotify, they massively increase the number of listeners and in turn raise the hype surrounding the artiste.
Streaming farms are a relatively new concept and were created to specifically take advantage of streaming platforms like Spotify.
Similar to the likes of click farms where robots or workers artificially inflate social media metrics such as likes and follows, streaming farms artificially inflate the number of listens of a song.
The most surprising thing about streaming farms is that if you know what you are doing, they are relatively easy to make.
It is a “fake it until you make it” approach that although useful for a few, is harmful to artistes who do not engage in such activities.
Streaming farms are an illegal way to buy streams and make money from royalties.
The absurd thing is that the people who can afford to pay for streams and have the motivation are the labels and signed artistes.
This is so because they are struggling to hold their spots on billboard charts and compete fairly with 100% independent artists. The tables have turned and more power is shifting to independents causing labels to fear the loss of power and control.
Why artiste or record label will use streaming farms
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After years of being kept a well-known secret, suddenly ‘everyone’ is using streaming farms to make more money, increase their visibility and get traction on their songs.
Signed artists and labels use streaming farms to increase their streaming numbers and top the charts. This ensures they earn royalties, but more importantly, it proves their artistes are popular even if it’s really not the truth.
According to reports, to date, the biggest example of streaming fraud took place in 2017 when a fraudster from Bulgaria managed to make about $1 million from fake streams.
Streaming farms: Cons
Is it worth paying a company to inflate your streams if it increases your chances of going viral?
While it may initially seem like a good idea, streaming farms are sabotaging musicians with “honest” streams and doing more harm than good when it comes to overall artist payouts.
According to a Rolling Stone article, “three to four percent of global streams are illegitimate streams…That’s around $300 million in potential lost revenue moved from legitimate streams to illegitimate, illegal streams.”
Moreover, faking hundreds or thousands of listeners could backfire. Music professionals can spot fake streams from a mile away, leaving you in a precarious position when applying for legitimate opportunities.
Things like random top cities, a weird selection of similar artistes and a monthly listener-follower ratio that makes no sense are clear indications of artistes with inflated streams. Word travels quickly and can lead to a bad reputation that you definitely do not need in an industry as connected as that of music.
All in all, while engineering your own breakthrough via streaming farms might seem like a good idea, it can do far more harm than good.
A clear focus on long-term goals and opportunities, coupled with a community of true fans is, by far, the superior way to achieving true and lasting success.