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Painted Space

How to spot inauthentic playlisting services.

Fake playlisting sites are a huge source of frustration for artists (and for us). It's very hard to tell if your playlist placement is authentic or not., so let's break down some red flags & bad practices.

Please be safe purchasing playlisting campaigns from other websites. A huge amount of these companies use fraudulent means to get you the results they promise and put your Spotify account in violation of ToS.

 Things to take into consideration. 

Here are a few things to note about legitimate playlist placements.

1. Legitimate playlists tend to perform much worse by comparison to fake playlists. No playlist can get you 100,000 streams overnight. Quality over quantity is what you should be aiming for as a developing artist. 

2. You may find an increase of streams from developing countries (Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey, etc). This is because these countries are cheap to market to and considered a good sign of a legitimate audience. Traffic coming 100% from the USA (particularly datacenter cities like LA, Chicago, and New York) are an extreme red flag.

3. Organic playlists are constantly fluctuating. Real playlists are consistently losing or gaining followers. Completely stagnant playlists or playlists with major increases/decreases in followers are typically inauthentic.

 Your new followers disappear. 

A lot of inauthentic playlist owners tend to bot their clients' followers as well. Botted followers are almost always corrected by Spotify. They are typically deleted and thus your followers disappear. With that said, dropping 1 or 2, for example, is nothing to be concerned about.

This is a major red flag and should not happen with organic placements.

 You aren't getting any more algorithmic streams. 

A new influx of organic streams from playlist placements should encourage an increase in algorithmic streams from Discovery Weekly and Release Radar (with respect to the quality of your music, and that's subjective). Bot placements can also harm your odds of being placed in the future. Spotify isn't dumb; they know when you're cheating the system (whether you know it or not).

This is a point of concern, but many factors are involved. Tread lightly here.

 Services that offer 'guaranteed plays'. 

A stream is considered 30+ seconds of listen time and the performance of your track in a playlist dependents on numerous factors. Your song could be doing 500 streams a day while the artist right under you may be doing 80 streams a day. Services that can promise you streams are something to watch out for.

This is a point of concern, but many factors are involved. Tread lightly here.

 Your placement's stream ratio is off. 

A lot of inauthentic playlists will give you more streams than the playlist has in followers (ie: you gained 10,000 streams from them, but they only have 5,000 followers). On any given month, you should never see a higher number of new streams than followers the playlist has.

This is a major red flag and isn't typical with organic placements.

 The listener to stream ratio is suspiciously high or low. 

A legitimate playlist should (but not always) have about 30-50% less listeners than streams. Playlists that have identical (or almost identical) streams to listeners, as well as playlists who's listener count is ridiculously low (ie: 50 listeners, 1,000 streams) is a huge red flag as a fake placement.

This is a major red flag, but many factors are involved. Use common sense here.

 Get placed with legitimate curators. 

Now that you know what to look for, let's talk and explore how we can help promote your music.

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