Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Hi artists and administrators

I am slowly getting sick of receiving periodically offers to include my music on someone's playlist for a price, typically 20 or 25 dollars but also received offers for 100$. i am talking about a playlist with just 3k or 4k followers, what usually means much less actual listeners.


In theory this is against Spotify's terms & conditions. Do you need the quote?


In practice I see that such playlists grow and grow and I assume that nearly all artists are paying the price - which means that the curators are getting tons of money on a regular basis (because they update the playlists regularly).


I don't think that going through the legal departments would make things better. i honestly think that we have to develop a system in which this kind of practice has no sense or becomes outdated.


Is only me, are you also receiving such offers?



12 Replies

Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick

Rock Star 20
Rock Star 20

Hello @DonSolare and thanks for your contribution.


It would be interesting to get more informations.


Where do you receive these offers ? Here in the Spotify community ? By private message in the Spotify community ? On your personal email outside of the Spotify commmunity ?


Can you provide some examples of playlists acting this way ?


SoundofusRock Star 20
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Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Hi @Soundofus I received these offers either via personal email or via messenger (Facebook). I can send you proof. Maybe better as a private message? I have no problem in mentioning those playlists, but if I do it I should give proof (which includes screenshots etc)  and things could escalate. Maybe not all readers/listeners want that. So I write you now a direct message and you can maybe tell me how to proceed.


As mentioned I have zero interest in initiating a witch-hunt or punishing people. My interest is developing a pitching system by which playola has no sense. Actually check my contributions under "ideas", some address precisely this problem. Of course, if only me wants this solution, is not priority nr 1 and I am aware of it (and i am OK with it as well).

I write you now



Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Great, now litium says I am using "bad words" because i am quoting the guy... and i reached the limit of messages for now.

I try later. Alternatiuvela, send me a PPM and possibly I can asnwer it


Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


"Can you provide some examples of playlists acting this way ?"

Ok, since it is getting difficult to send private messages in Lithium, i ask that question here.

For instance,

*  "joe and the juice" by Jacob Barckmann (charges 25$ / month)

* "Meditation/Sleep" by Christopher Spatola (charges 100$, no time limit specified)


Want Proof? I got proof.

Want more examples? Really need them?


Juan María


Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


I received a new "offer"... What can be done to stop this? 😞




 ----------------------------- 10,000 Spotify Streams - 30$ 50,000 Spotify Streams - 150$ 100,000 Spotify Streams - 250$ 250,000 Spotify Streams 500$ 500,000 Spotify Streams 1,000$ 1,000,000 Spotify Streams 2,000$ 2,500,000 Spotify Streams 4,500$ 5,000,000 Spotify Streams 8,000$ 1,000 Spotify Followers 5$ 5,000 Spotify Followers 30$ 10,000 Spotify Followers 50$ 50,000 Spotify Followers 200$ 100,000 Spotify Followers 300$ ----------------------------- 


Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Yeah Ive had similar issues (actually contacting larger "Spotify approved" 3rd party curators) and they say "25 Dollars and your track will be added to our listening queue". Which means they will "listen" but there is no guarantee it will be in their list.

Furthermore, it also opens doors for artists to offer more to "guarantee" their track is in the list. It's stupid.

I was like "k, no thanks". If they're not willing to give new music a listen, even if it's in their own time, they shouldn't be "Spotify approved".
It's annoying to say the least 🙂

Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Some days ago I suggested Spotify for artists that they develop a system of rewarding curators directly. For instance, that if you are a verified artist you could be able to split your royalties with a playlist curator, for instance "I give 5% -or 10% or 25% or whatever you want- to any independent curator that includes my track on their playlist". (they would get their split when the track is actually played through their palylist.)


Unfortunately, at this time it is not possible to  do that. I can understand, of course, that it is very complicated and not something you can implement without carefully pondering the consequences worldwide.


Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Yes, but that would pose some issues.


1. A playlist is obviously a marketing tool for artists to "get the track out there"


2. It would open doors for a bad user experience. Users follow playlists because they trust the curator with their taste, or just know that whatever is in the playlist will reflect the style of the playlist. If curators were to be paid by the artist, that would mean curators would start to add tracks not because it matches their taste or what the playlist stands for, but just for revenues. Which in turn could lead to users turning away from that playlist or ultimately the service if it were to come to that.


I've found.. the best way is to create your own playlist and basically market the sh*t out of it 😉 and in turn you'll start learning curators through networking and so on and so forth.

Re: Playola: I am slowly getting sick


Hmm, I thought I added a reply, but seems to be gone. So, here goes again.
Although that's a good idea, it would be a little tricky as well. 


Seeing listeners are going to follow a playlist because they have come to trust a curator for their taste and/or for the type of genre music that's listed in the playlist, giving the curator a payment (albeit from the artist) would open the door for a bad user experience. Curators may move from adding tracks that they like, to adding tracks just because they would get a share and I don't believe this is following the mindset of what Spotify wants to achieve. I feel a curator needs to really like the track and really feel it fits in his playlist and do that for the love of the music and basically to stay on top of his/her tastemaking game 🙂

I do think that giving curators some percentage of royalties (which in essence is probably not even theoretically possible unless you are an independent artist) would ultimately lead to a bad user experience, which would in turn lead to followers unfollowing the playlist or just ignoring it. Maybe even leaving the service.


Of course, playlists are perfect marketing tools to get your name and music out there, but I do think there are better ways. I think it's up to the label or artist to really do some marketing around the track, hopefully getting it picked up by an official Spotify playlist - usually third party playlists follow from there. And just a lot of networking to get to know people and being to personally send in tracks for their consideration (but not spamming them with every single track).

It's about choosing the key releases and really working around those. More often than not, the secondary releases would get picked up as well.