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Spotify removed my track due to suspicious streaming. What can I do about it?

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Spotify removed my track due to suspicious streaming. What can I do about it?

I'm an Artist with Distrokid as my distributor.

Today, I received a heartbreaking email that told me the entire track got removed from Spotify due to "artificial streaming".

I do not, in any way deny that it could be the case (without my knowledge) but it was genuinely unintentional.

Many small independent Artists like myself are constantly looking for ways to promote our music to help grow our career. Since Spotify does not have an official promotion service (like Adwords for Youtube), there are tons of third party services out there varying from plain-sight obvious scams to possibly genuine. However, as you can imagine, it is always a gamble when trusting someone new to promote your music.

I would happily invest in Spotify official campaigns or any promoters that Spotify endorses, but they do not exist?

 

I honestly wished I could pin-point which particular promoter was the culprit as I've done full-blown $2,000-$3,000 press release campaigns and smaller, more focused Spotify campaigns for a particular track.

 

It feels a little unfair that there were no warnings to this or having a penalty whereby the "fake streams" would be just removed instead of the entire track. Of course, the Spotify analytics could give me a red flags if the promoter was using fishy-methods, but by that time, there's nothing I can do to reverse it.

 

This has hurt me real bad and I am absolutely devastated.

 

What can I do about it now? Is there a chance Spotify would show some compassion and reinstate the track?

Am I even allowed to reupload the track again under a different or same ISRC number?

 

Any advice would be dearly appreciated.

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Hi @JonBoy20,

 

Welcome to the Community!

 

Sorry to hear that this has happened to your and your songs are being targeted like that.

 

It's best you reach out directly to our Artist Support here. They'll be able to help you further with this.

 

Cheers.

AlexModerator
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61 Replies

This happened to me as well. I find this to be unfair as it is impossible for an artist to be able to 'police' every utilization of their track by each user. Wouldn't it make more sense to address the issue with the user and creator of the playlist instead of devastating an artist's career by this removal? In addition, no details or proof was given for the 'artificial streaming'. I find that also to be unfair and just another way to keep the 'little guy' down.

Funny coincidence that everyone on here reported that to occur on Sunday (03/01/2021).
I'm with Distrokid as my distributor and they are actually offering a free Counter Notification appeal to Spotify specific to this issue.
However, I'm a little bit worried about doing it as I have likely used the same marketing service for other tracks too. In a fruitless effort to try and restore 1 track, I may end up having everything else pulled down without warning.

Spotify team just needs to show some empathy towards poor small artists.

If you try a marketing service and the results seem shady, you stop using them. You may try another one to see if it's legitimate, and the process repeats itself.
However, once a service has been initiated, there's absolutely no way to reverse the results. In other words, any decision mistakes becomes absolutely permanent. It sucks big time.

Hey @KrustyRockStar and @vanishingshores

 

Help’s here!

 

In case you've got your track removed from Spotify for any reason make sure you get in touch with our team at Spotify for Artists. The folks will be able to get a closer look and assist you further.       

 

You can reach out to them here.    

 

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any questions.  

Actually Spotify help provided no information or any offer for help at all. They said that my distributor would have all of the information, but they do not. The response from Spotify was formulaic, dismissive, and condescending. No concern or offer to help was expressed. It is apparently no big deal for Spotify to negatively impact an artist’s career with absolutely no sharing of proof or means of rebuttal. 

I've actually started following a Twitter post with hundreds of comments between @SpotifyCares and @DistroKid.

It's still going on and there's over a hundred artists on there posting on it. It turns out there may be something more involved like a bugged algorithm or some sort. There were people who released tracks with literally zero streams and yet their tracks were still taken down.

Something isn't quite right  here.

 

There's also a petition signed by 1,400+ people for Spotify to reinstate the thousands of tracks they took down in one day.

You guys should check it out too and see what you can learn from it.

Did you ever get your song re-instated? I just got the same email even though I did not manipulate my streams at all. I’m hoping they’ll fix it 😕

I haven't gotten any emails about my songs being taken down, but I did get an email from my distributor that my account is "under investigation".  

 

Now all of a sudden I have zero listeners when I usually have 5-10 at any given moment.  And I am constantly sending new listeners over through ads.  

Marked as solution

Hi @JonBoy20,

 

Welcome to the Community!

 

Sorry to hear that this has happened to your and your songs are being targeted like that.

 

It's best you reach out directly to our Artist Support here. They'll be able to help you further with this.

 

Cheers.

AlexModerator
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate an answer, maybe give it a Like.
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Hey Jon! I’m sorry this happened to you 😞 Do you have any update? I had a song pulled recently too because of a playlist and was wondering if they helped you out. Good luck with all this

I also had an ep that disappeared, but is still on other services, it was called the "dove ep." I tried reaching out to Spotify for artists but I haven't gotten any advisor and I've been waiting for 30 minutes, after it said something to the effect of "connection failure" with no real connection failure I don't think.

Over the past two months, Tunecore, my distributor has taken down two of my three releases alleging that you're saying I'm committing streaming fraud.  I hired nobody to do any of this at all and don't feel it's fair that you should do this without warning or any third-party service to stream my material.  If that is going on, I know nothing about it!  Yet Tunecore takes my stuff down and says there's no recourse.  This is a SHAM what you big tech idiots are doing to small artists like us!!!!

This is realnotperfect, and the exact same thing that erikstearns experienced yesterday is happening to me today. I woke up to see that more than 60% of all my music was gone. No warnings. Four songs were falsely tagged of "purchased streams" when I've never paid anyone to listen or playlist my stuff. I have not very many, but regardless real humans asking about where their favorite songs are because my songs are not production-flashy but rather more emotional validation, for some.

Not only were the 4 tracks removed- the entire collections that went up with them are gone.

I've already reached out to dozens of other people who are experiencing this exact same problem right now.

It semms I'm a "victim" too.

One question: does anyone of you know if there's a way to have the situation "restored".

Or is our music "gone forever".

Distrokid seems to suggest you have to upload the songs again, but I'm afraid that the process might cause a mess...

Any suggestions?

Hi,

There's so many of us krippo. It's crazy. I've talked to so many people who are still experiencing this now, for example on Discord and Reddit among other forums/websites. Many feel like it's only a matter of time before something happens on a huge scale because so many "smaller artists" are in extreme anger.

Personally for me though, and in response to what you said- yes, I'm organizing my art now for re-uploading. Like I mentioned, I've emailed DK a bunch of times. Spotify employees who responded via chat were (though they're great people I'm sure) extremely unwilling to help.

You can DM me if you want to talk. I know how extremely horrible this is. It makes no sense.

To me and to others.

- realnotperfect

It doesn't help because even though you all have supposedly rectified the problem, TuneCore still will not reinstate my material!

I can tell you that the way TuneCore works, when they take something down,
it seems to be gone forever. I tried reuploading the first album that was
taken down, but they shot that down too. So I'm not sure at this point what
to do.

Hi there,

Here's something you might want to look into. I hope this helps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuwwDSBikx8

Hey, just realised that this has just happened to my entire album. Released last November, and now gone! I reached out to spotify for artists and the person said that I would need to talk to my distributor. I told them that my issue was with spotify, not the distributor......to which the person replied ''Contact your distributor, I am ending the chat now''. What the **bleep**!!!? Most of my tracks have a few hundred/thousand streams. Never paid to be on a playlist. What. the. **bleep**??

 

Spotify has felt shady as f**k to me for years. I will use this opportunity to get off it for good. 

 

- RainJamerson

I had the same thing happen to me yesterday. A song of mine was taken down on Spotify. I spent over an hour communicating with them last night and they told me to contact the distributor (Distrokid). Distrokid said that Spotify took the song down. Spotify also said that a song of mine was flagged for artificial streams (a different song than the one that they took down). I have never paid to be on a playlist, but I do see at times that some unknown person will stream a song of mine numerous times in one day. No dies who, or why. No playlist is ever associated with these streams either. All we did was go around in circles. Nothing was solved. 

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