How to detect fake Spotify playlists

In this article you will find some tips to identify fake or scammy Spotify playlists!

Is your latest track a hit, or is it just the work of clever click-farms?

The rise of fake playlists has skewed numbers on Spotify, potentially misleading you. Here's how to spot and avoid them to ensure your music reaches genuine listeners.

What are fake Spotify playlists? 

Fake playlists are curated by spammy accounts using bots and click farms to drive fake streams to your music. These artificial numbers might look impressive but can harm your career in the long run. Understanding the nature of these fake playlists is crucial for any artist looking to build an authentic presence on Spotify.

Why should artists avoid fake Spotify playlists?

Spotify does its best to combat fraud and remove songs or playlists that raise red flags. But, it’s not perfect. 

If a profile is associated with something dodgy, it’s less likely to be listed within the algorithm, essentially punishing them. So, ensuring you’re playing by the rules is crucial to building your presence on the platform. 

Not only that, streams from fake accounts are not from real users meaning far fewer people are actually listening to your music than you think. 

As all those listeners are fake, there’s no opportunity to convert them into actual engagement. No one to support your career in any meaningful way. 

In a way, fraudulent streams steal from real artists. Certain artists are getting paid for streams that don’t come from real users, diluting the revenue pool from which all artists get paid. 

The bottom line
: Artists are directly affected by fake activity. 

So how do you spot them? 

How to detect fake Spotify playlists

Spotting fake playlists requires a keen eye. Here’s how to do it:

1) Review the playlist curator profile

Authentic profiles will have a bio, profile picture, and social media links. If the curator's name is a string of numbers with no details, for instance, it’s likely fake. Real curators usually take pride in their playlists and provide enough information to prove their legitimacy. This includes links to their social media profiles, personal websites, or other platforms where they engage with their audience.

2) Check their followers

Generally speaking, the number of account followers should align with the number of playlist followers. A playlist that has a bunch of likes accompanied by a curator with no followers is suspicious. 

On the other hand, look out for fake followers. If they have a profile that raises alarm bells but somehow hundreds of followers, they could have been bought. 

3) Check out the name and description of the playlist

The playlist name should reflect its genre, mood, or theme. If it doesn't, or if the description is vague or absent, be wary. Real curators put thought into their playlist names and descriptions to attract the right listeners. A playlist with a mismatched or generic name and no description often indicates a lack of genuine effort and intent.

4) They offer paid placements

If a curator asks for payment to add your track to a playlist, avoid it. This violates Spotify’s policies and can lead to your music being removed from the platform. 

However, paying to submit your music for campaign consideration is different and can be legitimate. Do your research to distinguish between the two. Transparent marketing services charge for their time and effort to promote your music, but they don't guarantee placements in playlists, which is a critical distinction.

5) Incoherent genres and unrelated artists

Serious curators carefully select songs that fit together. If a playlist features a haphazard mix of genres and artists, it’s likely not valuable. Good playlists have a coherent theme or mood, making them enjoyable for listeners. If you see a mix of genres that don't make sense together, it’s a sign that the playlist might be more about numbers than quality.

Tools to help you spot fake playlists

You don’t have to go it alone. Several tools can assist in identifying fake playlists:

  • Provides insights into engagement and audience activity. 

  • Artist.Tools: Analyzes Spotify data to offer critical marketing insights.

  • Chartmetric: Offers valuable data to understand playlist validity.

Using these tools can save you time and help you navigate through the noise more efficiently. They offer data-driven insights that can confirm your suspicions or give you peace of mind. 

While manually checking profiles and playlists remains the most cost-effective option, a combination of both approaches will ensure you're being as informed as possible. 

How DailyPlaylists combats fake playlists 

We want you to stay as far away from these no-good playlists as possible. 

  • Active Fraud Fighting: We encourage users to report suspicious playlists. Once reported, we investigate and remove any fraudulent ones immediately and indefinitely.

  • No Payola: We don’t support direct payment for playlist placements. Our credit system ensures submissions, not guaranteed placements, and curators independently approve or decline tracks outside our influence.

  • Spotify API Compliance: Our platform operates within Spotify’s terms, reviewed every six months for compliance.

The end of fake playlisting

Navigating playlists requires vigilance. As an artist, understanding the landscape of fake playlists is crucial to maintaining your integrity and ensuring that your music reaches genuine listeners. 

By identifying and avoiding fake playlists, you protect your reputation and foster a legitimate audience that can truly engage with your work.

Use the outlined strategies to scrutinize playlist curators, followers, and playlist content. By staying informed and cautious, you can safeguard your musical journey from the pitfalls of fake playlists and build a genuine, engaged audience that truly appreciates your artistry.