Recently, you may have read about Spotify creating “fake” artists. The follow up to that was the discovery of fake Spotify streams - you can read a whole, long, anger-inducing article here. While paying for plays or likes is nothing new - Soundcloud never could seem to rein in the rampant bot plays and people have been paying for social media followers for years - it doesn’t make it a practice we should all be involved in. I know it’s tempting, but I’m here to scream DON’T DO IT! YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEY AND POTENTIALLY SABOTAGING YOUR NEW CAREER.
I get it - watching your song or account blow up FEELS amazing. The idea behind it is solid. Likes prompt more likes; listens get more listens… right? WRONG. This might work in a political election, but not here, folks! Not here.
Now that that’s out of the way… here are 8 reasons you should never pay for fake fan support.
They are meaningless. Short term, it feels awesome to see your play or like count going up. But then what? Do you expect bots to all of a sudden turn into real people and buy concert tickets or become a real fan? Spoiler: they won’t. You need real people doing real things and spending real money to move your career even an inch forward.
The industry isn’t stupid. I can spot bot-filled accounts a mile away. If someone sends me their Facebook page that has 50,000 likes, but they only have 50 monthly listeners on Spotify and each Facebook post gets an average of 2 likes… I know you’re fakin it and I can’t take you seriously.
It will not get you noticed in a real way. If you think buying 1,000,000 streams is going to make you a superstar, THINK AGAIN, hot shot! Sure, some projects seemingly blow up out of nowhere from one song doing well, but if I’m being truthful, that is almost NEVER the real case. There have been months of plotting, planning, and talking up an artist. We get people on board, we preach about their talents, and we make sure the stars align before we put up that very first single. The only way an unknown artist with no team can really accomplish a breakthrough is if real people are talking about it in a very real way -- and very, very often. They need to be telling everyone on social media, sharing the video, commenting, liking, etc. Stream count alone won’t do that. Bots are not your fans! And again, if there isn’t movement in all of the necessary places, something looks suspect.
Algorithms. Facebook and Instagram will BURY your posts if you don’t have enough engagement. Social media platforms have wised up and only want to show people what they want to see. If you have 50,000 fans and average 2 likes per post then it seems like no one wants to see your posts, so they don’t show them. And it’s VERY hard to climb out of that hole.
You are ruining the platform. Yeah, you. If you paid for plays, you are ruining it for the rest of us that are grinding it out. Now it’s a mess full of bots and cyborgs and other nasty, icky things. You make people nervous to trust a song that really DOES blow up on it’s own.
You will never have enough money to keep up the habit and make it believable. That shit is EXPENSIVE. If you think you can make a one-time payment and it will turn your career into a sustainable thing, you are so, so wrong. The companies that sell likes and streams are often pretty scammy and will make you keep dumping money in until you achieve your desired results (that they never let you hit).
The risk. If you get caught, you could have your account suspended or kicked off the site entirely. Spotify has fraud detection measures in place and you don’t wanna mess around with Instagram! They suspend accounts for far lesser evils.
WHAT IS THE POINT? I’ve already said they are meaningless, but seriously, you need to ask yourself what the hell is the point here. If you’re not actually trying to build a legit fan base that gives a shit about what you’re doing, then why are you even here mucking up things for the rest of us? Yes, I’ve seen that article that says potentially 50% of some massive superstars’ followers are fake. I hate that too. It blows the metrics way off and now we don’t really know what it means to be HUGE.
At the end of the day, this goes back to the fact that there is no shortcut in this business. Good songs work. Hard work works. Staying dedicated to your career works. That’s pretty much it.
Reason To Ignore This Advice: You made a fake artist profile to do research for an article on buying fake streams.