Okay first, let's take a closer look at what they're telling us with a couple screenshots taken from their own website's home page. (If you're on your cellphone, use your fingers to zoom in to see the text.)
Their site says: "... playlist spots are 4 weeks spots..." This is your first big red flag. Spotify doesn't allow "pay-for-play" tactics and encourages us to report anyone offering such services. Songs should be added to a playlist because a real person/curator actually (likes) your song; and it should stay on the playlist because other real people (the listening audience), like it as well. Snatching a song off a playlist (whether their so-called audience likes it or not), simply because they want you to pay more to keep it on, is a perfect definition of "pay-for-play".
However, with these people, their are no real audiences for their playlists and you will know that if you use their service and get no feedback from curators (because their playlists are computer generated), and no likes or saves from listeners, (because there are none); yet you'll mysteriously get a thousand or more streams from playlists with generic looking/sounding names and unrealistic curator names who have only 6-9 followers in their profiles. Any service or curator who promises to add your song for a limited amount of time and and encourages you to continuously pay each month to keep your song on their playlist should be reported to Spotify and we should all do our best to stop supporting scams like this!
No artist should ever use this type of service simply to "gain streams". It is pointless, sets you up for getting kicked off of the Spotify platform, and does nothing for advancing your career. What we artists want are real streams from (real) people. Real people click a "like" button on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all other social media platforms. Those same real people will (save) you to their own Liked Playlist on Spotify. They will follow you on other social media platforms, seek out your website, buy your band merchandise and come to your live performances. If you have nothing more than a lot of "streams" from non-real people, you have no growing fan base, which equals no one to attend your live performances or buy your merchandise. Essentially, your music career is going absolutely NOWHERE, while you run the risk of getting kicked off of Spotify.
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Unfortunately, we tried this service out and like nearly every other playlist placement service, they tell you absolutely nothing about the playlists to which they are pitching your song. So you're stuck with blindly paying and hoping it's not just another giant mistake. Although they added our song to a total of 36 playlists, we want to share 4 of those playlists with you to let you see for yourself what a mistake it was using this service. The names of the four playlists are:
- Songs You Must Hear
- The Pure Talent List
- Top Tracks 2021
- Best of 2021
Now you get to play a fun game with us and have a look at these screenshots to see which features you find similar in all four of these playlists. (Be sure to take note of how generic looking these playlists are. Real people (curators), take time to include nice, meaningful artwork for their playlist and title their playlists in a more meaningful (unique) way. They also have "real names". You'll notice the curator names for all these playlists are obviously fake.):
- We'll start at the top and work our way down. The images in the upper left corners for all of these lists are extremely generic! That's red flag #1. When a real person puts together a playlist, they want to make it as cool and attractive to other listeners as possible. A few words an a square simply doesn't cut it! (Unless you're not a real person). The names of the playlists are just as generic as the playlist artwork.
- We all know that songs are supposed to be "pitched" to curators (real people), on Spotify, who then decide whether or not to add your song. Many times giving feedback for why they did/didn't add it. We never received any feedback for anything.
- Since real curators are people just like us and have real lives, they don't always have the time to immediately add a song to their playlist. Our song was added to all 36 playlists on the exact same day! That fact alone, is another huge red flag implying our song was added through computer automation, not real people. Take a look at the "Dates added" for all these playlists and you will see large groups of songs being added on the same dates and time for all of them.
- You'll also notice that there are absolutely NO well-established artists listed on any of these playlists. In fact, the exact same artists appear on all four playlists in the exact same positions or close to the same positions on each playlists. How in the hell do you have a playlist titled "Best of 2021" and "Top Tracks 2021" with no Justin Bieber or a single other well-established artist on it???? That question should immediately make you wonder, "who the hell is listening to these playlists?"
- Just right of the curator's name, you'll see how many followers this playlist supposedly has and how many total songs are on each playlist. Notice how all of them have exactly 50 songs. This is because if you were to look at the entire roster for each of these playlists, you will realize that they all have the exact same 50 songs on each playlist - (AND) nearly every song is in the exact same position on every playlist. If these curators are real people, that along with large numbers of songs being added at the exact same time, is one hell of a coincidence!!!
- Now let's take a closer look at the actual curators for these playlists. Just the names alone should raise suspicions, but to help you out, we have a few screen captures for all of their profiles below:
We've only included the headers for their profiles because there simply is no other information on any of them. No pictures; no real names; no social media information; and most importantly, no followers. The fake curator with the greatest amount of influence here has 9 followers. Now this next and last part would actually be funny if we hadn't actual paid ArtistRack for this service, but in reality, it's the part which ties it all together and let's us know what a huge, embarrassing and frustrating mistake this was. Below is a screen capture of our Spotify page which tells us how many streams we've received from each playlist:
We know you'll have to use your fingers to stretch this image to see what's really going on here, but can someone please explain to us how a fake curator, ("Keerons Music") with 9 followers, no picture or profile information, can have a playlist with 36,407 followers and render 1,806 streams for our song???? When you don't look carefully and make these basic comparisons, you'll be just as fooled as we were and everyone else who continues to use the f*cked up service. None of the supposed streams saved or liked our song. We have zero new followers from those streams. What ArtistRack gave us was a pointless excuse to take our money and it's frustrating and infuriating!
These people will never face real justice for screwing us and a ton of other artists over for their sorry excuse for taking our money. But we can fight back by telling everyone we know never to use their services. We have also sent a letter to Spotify explaining all of this so hopefully they will remove all of their playlists from the platform. Our advice, never pay for a playlist promotional service that doesn't have full transparency in who their playlists and/or curators are (before) you pay. Otherwise, it's a lot like having a restaurant promise brag about their history, number of customers and menu, promise you a great meal without allowing you to select dishes for yourself, and then serving you a bowl of chicken broth.