We all know a faker: a personality, a product or a promise that got broken. Fakers waste time, energy and although they may drag a few along for the ride, in the long run, they bite you in the ass.
Faking. Not a good look.
Let’s apply this train of thought to the current debacle in playlisting music on streaming services. You may have a few playlists that you go to for reference or you may be hosting a party tonight, forgot everything but the soundtrack and thankfully your favourite streaming service has you covered. Fantastic! But wait… you go to these playlists because you trust they’re put together well, right? Because you enjoy the editor’s choices or you just think it fits the mood perfectly? Well, there are people out there taking money to screw this all up for you and the poor artists who are trying to make it.
In return for money, these soulless businessmen are offering artist access to playlists with large streaming figures (which may well be from bots), so their streams go sky high. This practice is a stain on the wonderfully-crafted experience true playlisters have made for us and detracts from the hard work from acts who have genuinely toiled to get their legit streaming figures. It also does no favours to those trying to break it by faking it. Labels will question their success when nothing else lines-up with their streaming figures, music fans will see through it (and truth be told, it may not even be a good song) and they’ll be left like a naughty school child shuffling their feet awkwardly as they try to answer “What happened there then?” The answer? Go back to square one to do it properly. Pay to playlist is not the ethical way.
Elise Cobain is a music editor and streaming specialist who has worked for the likes of the BBC, Sony & Vevo whilst supporting emerging acts on her Amazing Radio show. Find Elise on Twitter at @elisecobain