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Content identified as Artificial Streaming by DSPs

How to monitor artificial streaming activity

What can be checked to avoid streaming fraud

Important Note


Artificial Streaming, also called Click Fraud or Streaming Fraud, is when play counts are increased by any automated, deceptive, fraudulent, or other invalid means (e.g. digital bots, click farms, payment for placement on playlists, etc.) to boost a track’s popularity, its streams and therefore its revenue.

Streaming services are taking this issue seriously more and more and are constantly working to identify and prevent streaming fraud on their platforms.

This is what Spotify says about Artificial Streaming:

An artificial stream is a stream that doesn’t reflect genuine user listening intent, including any instance of attempting to manipulate Spotify by using automated processes (bots or scripts).

We put significant engineering resources and research into detecting, mitigating, and removing artificial streaming activity on Spotify so that nothing stands in the way of our mission of allowing artists to live off their art, and so that rights holders are paid as fairly as possible for their work. The integrity of this is incredibly important to us because an illegitimate stream means there are honest, hard-working artists on the other side that are impacted.

Content identified as Artificial Streaming by DSPs

If a DSP considers that some content is involved in an artificial streaming activity:

  • The DSP has the right to take actions that may include the withholding of royalties, and the correction of streaming numbers, until the removal of the entire catalog permanently.
  • You may also receive a warning from Omziki.
  • To prevent fraudulent content to be distributed, the Quality Control team can withhold the delivery of releases that are suspected to be click-fraud until further proof of distribution and publishing rights are provided in order to avoid any issues with the publication of content on all DSPs.

Please check our Anti-fraud Policy for more information about fraud and Omziki Distribution‘s commitment to preventing it.

How to prevent streaming fraud

There are a number of factors that can be checked in order to avoid streaming fraud, all of which require diligence by the artist and/or its representative:

  • Third-party promotional services that advertise streams in return for payment

    An artist can be involved in streaming fraud by purchasing a shady marketing campaign. If promotional campaigns are going to be planned, we recommend doing your research and only working with reputable companies. There are many so-called marketing companies that appear legit but actually use bots and other methods to artificially increase streams.

    These violate DSPs’ as well as Omziki Distribution‘s Terms & Conditions, and using them could result in your music being removed from the channels. Any service that claims to offer a guaranteed placement on playlists in exchange for money should be avoided.

    You can read Spotify’s blog for a guide to gaining an authentic following through Spotify’s tools and resources.

  • Fake Artists and Generic Content

There are specific signals that help us detect fake artists and/or releases that are suspicious of click-fraud behavior on streaming platforms. The most common ones are:

    • Empty profile data on the User profile in our platform*
    • Generic titles in songs and albums.
    • Albums with the same length in all the songs.
    • Albums that contain very different styles and artists depending on the track (missing consistency on the release).
    • One-track singles with less than 30 seconds of length or albums with very short songs.
    • Inconsistency between the streams generated and the number of followers in the DSP’s artist profile
      • The irregular ratio of monthly listeners vs. total streams in the channels (i.e.: 5 monthly listeners = 12K streams in each song).
      • Also, extremely regular listening patterns along with a release (i.e.: 12K streams in each song even if there are 8 songs in a release) and song lengths (1:26, 1:30, 1:29, 1:40, etc.).

Taking into consideration these facts may help to prevent click-fraud claims from happening.

Among other channels, Spotify is one of the main ones fighting against this malpractice. Please check Spotify for artists’ FAQ for further insights:

“If this happened to you but you believe your streams were earned authentically, you should share information with us about the methods used to genuinely promote the content in question”

Important Note

We work with channels to review and hopefully get the problem solved quickly. Get in touch with us, as your collaboration would be essential to get any issue sorted as soon as possible. This will help fasten the review and approval process and ultimately will make sure there won’t be any issues with DSPs so that the distributed content will be successfully published.

Please contact Artist Support Team for any further queries.

** The time is base on America/New_York timezone