What is artificial streaming?
Artificial streaming, commonly known as streaming fraud, is the manipulation of play counts within a digital music service using non-organic means, such as bots or streaming farms.
Artificial streaming can be a result of inorganic promotion that aims to get artists more streams, followers, downloads, playlist placements, or general exposure using fraudulent methods. An artificial stream doesn't reflect a genuine fan listening to your music.
While artificial streaming is typically the result of a bot or streaming farm, artists should keep in mind that playing their own music on a loop for an extended period of time is considered to be a form of artificial streaming. Any streaming activity that is not organic or appears to be a manipulation of streams can fall into this category and should be avoided.
What are the consequences of artificial streaming?
There’s no better way to rip off the band-aid than by talking about how artificial streaming can affect artists’ royalty payments. Digital music services have methods for identifying artificial streaming and they will not pay out for any streams that they’ve deemed to be artificial or inorganic.
If digital music services determine that your content has been involved in artificial streaming, they may take additional actions such as correcting your streaming numbers to remove artificial streams, and/or removing your content from their platforms. (You can see what Spotify has to say about this here).