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Beware!!! Some Music Distributors are Conducting Shady Practices

Recently both Spotify and Music Distributors like Tunecore have been caught conducting shady practices over paying out musicians, by wrongly accusing them of fake streams. According to several music lawyers they have been removing music and withholding payouts without providing any evidence that the streams were fake.

They will claim your music is being removed due to artificial streams, but has affected even musicians using Facebook ads to get genuine traffic spikes. Even after proving this they have been refused royalties. It seems any musician gaining a sudden spike in traffic could be liable to false accusations this year, whether legitimate or not.

This is yet another attempt by Major Label-owned Spotify to only allow their signed artists to get exposure on their platform, and prevent any independent musician from promoting themselves through Facebook ads, paid organic promotion, or genuine playlist exposure.

We would urge any musician wrongly accused of fake streams to contact a music lawyer immediately and fight this rather than accuse the hardworking promotional companies who have helped them drive traffic to their music.

We would also suggest that musicians not give up on organic promotion, especially through playlists, as this would simply be caving into their demands. It's now clear that they only wish to allow signed artists to receive genuine promotions and anyone else attempting to will receive false accusations of fraud. This is a clear attempt to scare independent musicians away from organic promotion. This must be fought against at all costs for the future of independent musicians.

We must remember Spotify shares are majority-owned by major labels and they have no invested interest in unsigned artists getting any exposure on their platform. Therefore it is of no surprise that they have resorted to these shady measures to enable their artists to gain a monopoly on their platform.

On the other side of this, distributors are incentivized, separately from Spotify, to withhold royalties from musicians, for their own financial gain. They have also been reported to be falsely accusing musicians of fake streams and they seem to be the main culprits for the majority of these recent reports, on many occasions, they have claimed this to be on behalf of Spotify. However, when the musician contacted Spotify, they were told Spotify did not know of any fake streams regarding that individual artist's music. This means the distributor took this on board all by themselves and lied about it being from Spotify. This borders on the lines of criminality due to the fact distributors neither have the ability nor means to distinguish real from fake streams. Regardless of any claims they make about having software they simply look for songs that receive a spike in traffic. Again they neither have the means nor ability to distinguish if this traffic is real or fake, but will assume fake without any credible evidence.

We could speculate that the reason the distributors are doing this is either because of financial gain to themselves or Spotify has encouraged them to enforce these unfair and unjust sanctions to further put the spotlight on the major-label-signed musicians.

Remember that most distributors gain absolutely nothing from the success of your music and solely survive on the monthly or yearly subscription you pay them to upload your music across stores and manage your royalties. This means they make the majority of their revenue from your subscription to their services, regardless if your music does well or not. Therefore they have zero invested interest in your success, and the more royalties that Spotify pays them, which they can then withhold from the musician, the more revenue they get to keep.

We have included below and above a video of a known music lawyer who will explain how she uncovered this shady practice, what to look out for, who is responsible, and how to fight against it. Please take your time to watch the video below for a better understanding of the current ongoing situation.

Below is another video that seems to imply that not only is Distrokid doing the same thing but is also responsible for placing their users on botted playlists themselves. Take a watch.

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