Music streaming platforms like Spotify are now dominating the music industry. Artists use the platform to gauge their success by checking the number of streams in each song. But is this the accurate measure of success for a musician on Spotify?
As an artist, the number of streams on your songs does not equate to your success on Spotify. This is because scammers on the platform generate fake playlists with botted streams. The authentic way to find your success on Spotify is by optimizing Spotify’s algorithm.
The algorithm utilizes your music data, like your genre, to categorize your music, creates a personalized playlist that includes your song, and recommends it to its audience based on the streaming history. From such recommendations, you can grow an authentic following, and your music will reach many listeners ideal for your music.
So, how can you tell whether your Spotify account has been blotted or it’s attracting authentic listeners?
How to Know if Your Spotify Account Has Been Botted
Here is how to assess the health status of your Spotify account;
1: Check the Number of Streams Compared to Listeners and Saves
The ratio between streams, listeners, and saves is the primary indicator of a healthy Spotify account. If your Spotify account has a high number of streams but a significantly low number of listeners and saves, it's a sign your account has been botted. In normal circumstances, your song's saving rate should be in the range of 6%-10%. However, it goes down to 3% or less for botted accounts.
Streamers to listeners ratio is also a key indicator. In ideal situations, when listeners love your song, they will play it more than once. However, bots will listen to your track once and move on. The result is having many streams with a significant number of listeners, implying no-repeat listeners, which is not practical.
2: Look at the Listener's Location
An authentic Spotify account should have listeners from different parts of the region or world. However, if your account seems to be attracting listeners from a specific location unrelated to where you (the artist) come from, it's a sign the account is botted.
3: Watch Out for the “Fans Also Like” Section
Remember, Spotify’s algorithm categorizes artists of similar interests (genres) into one category. Thus, Spotify will recommend your listeners to artists whose songs are identical to yours. So when you check the “Fans Also Like” section, you will find your listeners liking songs or artists in your category.
However, botted accounts might have hundreds of thousands of plays with no “Like” in the “Fans Also Like” section. Sometimes, the likes can be of random songs of different genres.
In some instances, your account might have bot generated playlists. How will you tell? Bot-generated playlists have an overall sloppy appearance:
- Poorly written grammar on the playlist and description
- No cover art
- Unpopular artists topping the playlist with a high number of views
- A meager stream-to-listener ratio of about 14%
Sometimes, your music is placed in a playlist entirely irrelevant to your music style. Even though real people can listen to such playlists, incorrectly placing your songs in the wrong genre will negatively affect your artistic data.
5: A Spike in Followers
An unusual rise in followers is a red flag that your account or playlist is botted. A genuine playlist/account will experience a gradual increase in the number of followers over time. However, if your account experiences a sudden increase in followers over a short time, the account has been faked.
Spotify kicks out fake bot accounts. Thus, if you also experience a sudden decline in followers, it's a sign that your account has been botted.
6: Algorithmic Movement
The Spotify algorithm is crucial in promoting your songs organically to the right audience. The algorithm recommends your tracks by utilizing the data you’ve provided about your profile and music. However, for botted accounts, Spotify will not be able to recommend the artist to the right audience because of incorrect data provided by the bot. So, if Spotify can’t recommend your songs to the right audience, check your profile for bot problems.
Some of the critical information that Spotify’s algorithm captures to recommend your music include:
- Listening history (genre, mood, style)
- Listening time
- Skip rate
- Playlist features
7: Followers vs. Monthly Listeners
The ratio of followers to monthly listeners can reveal whether or not the relationship is authentic. Spotify botted accounts will have abnormally high monthly listeners with astoundingly low monthly followers. In such cases, the bot has placed the account or artist in the wrong playlist or has increased the artist’s number of streams.
However, this comparison has an exception! As an artist, you might activate the algorithm to access popular playlists such as Discovery Weekly. Thus, before concluding that your Spotify account or a playlist is botted because of a high number of listeners and low followers, confirm if the account is in a popular playlist.
How to Avoid Bots
Many times artists have innocently found themselves falling for playlisting services that promise to offer “organic streams” but end up being in playlists filled with bots. Here are some advices on how to avoid bots on Spotify:
- Avoid playlisting companies that guarantee streams: Music marketing does not come with a guarantee! Any playlisting company that guarantees maximum streams uses bots.
- Be wary of low prices: Building an authentic and engaging playlist network is expensive. With the increasing number of independent artists looking to promote their music, playlisting services are in high demand because of the few slots. The only way to offer the services cheaply is when the company uses bots.
- Avoid paying for playlist ads: Spotify’s terms of service restrict users from paying for playlist ads.
- Ask to view the playlist: Most botted playlists are easy to spot; unpopular artists topping the list, no artwork on the cover, and poor grammar on the description, among other pointers.
- Watch out for playlist owners with multiple playlists but with the same follower counts.
There is no quick way to build your music career! Botted Spotify accounts and playlists can have your account banned from Spotify. Check if your account has been botted by checking the ratio of streams to listeners to saves, a spike in followers, algorithmic movements, and monthly followers vs. listeners!