Artificial Streaming Guidance

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Artificial streaming is a significant problem for the music industry and diminishes the earnings of legitimate artists & labels. Here at ampsuite we take this very seriously and you should too… here’s why

An increasing number of DSPs detect artificial streaming on their platforms & withhold revenue for this activity. The issue has become so significant that in certain cases, digital partners have also blocked entire catalogues from their services.

If you are paying for this kind of artificial activity on your catalogue then there is a very good chance you’re both wasting your time & money – because this will be detected & the revenue withhold – while putting your label & its entire catalogue at risk of being removed too!


We would like to share some guidance & best practices on this subject, some of which help us identify potential problematic content & some to help you prevent this affecting your catalogues… This covers:-

What is artificial streaming?

Artificial streaming does not reflect genuine user listening and is any activity that artificially inflates stream counts. Artificial streamers may gain access to digital partner platforms by creating fake user accounts or hacking existing user accounts; present themselves as marketing or playlisting companies that promise increased streams or playlist placement, but do so by illegitimate means; manipulate services using automated processes such as bots or scripts; and/or deliver repertoire specifically for the purpose of artificially inflating usage counts e.g., tracks by fake artists or the same audio files delivered in multiple releases (so-called “recycled audio”). 


We appreciate that labels may not knowingly work with bad actors that engage in artificial streaming. However, there appear to be increasing numbers of artificial streamers in the market and ongoing education for artists, management and anyone involved with the release may help to identify these bad actors

Preventive measures

+ warning against marketing and playlisting services that promise to increase streams or guarantee playlist placement
+ communicating that legitimate marketing and playlisting services will not offer streams in exchange for cash (so-called “pay-for-play schemes”)
+ encouraging thorough vetting of any third party marketing or playlisting services before engaging them
+ warning against specific illegitimate services that you have identified. 

Take immediate action 

If you identify anyone involved in artificial streaming, we strongly advise am immediate take down of their content & advise your ampsuite account manager about this


Q – Will I still be paid if I wasn’t aware it was artificial streaming ?
A – No, if the DSP detects it as such they will withhold royalties
Q – Can you tell me where the artificial streaming originates and give me more detail on this ?
A – Generally no, the DSPs don’t give us too much information, in order protect their detection methods
Q – Is there an appeals process ?
A – Typically not, if you feel you have a strong case then we may be able to put this to some DSPs, but things such as ‘I didnt realise the marketing company I paid to promote my release were using these methods’ just isn’t sufficient

So, what are ampsuite doing ?

Ampsuite have implemented our own monitoring tools to detect any activity which appears suspicious . We have also implemented content monitoring which looks for potentially problematic music being delivered through our supply chain – effectively stopping the delivery of this content before it even has a chance to reach the DSPs!

In short, anyone looking to artificial streaming will be wasting their time & money , as it will most likely be detected and revenue withheld by the DSP. It is also likely that the content will be detected by us and your account will be terminated, DONT DO IT!

For all the genuine industry professionals, we welcome you with open arms & rest assured we have your best interests xx

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