Yesterday we ran a story that went viral over the weekend: publication Music Business Worldwide accused Spotify of creating its own songs to fill out its playlists. While the original story was almost a year old, the blogosphere gave it traction recently as Vulture put out its own article making similar accusations that artists on playlists such as Ambient Chill were potential creations of Spotify.


Almost a year after Music Business Worldwide‘s original article, a Spotify spokesman responded to the Vulture article with the below statement:

“We do not and have never created ‘fake’ artists and put them on Spotify playlists. Categorically untrue, full stop. We pay royalties -sound and publishing – for all tracks on Spotify, and for everything we playlist. We do not own rights, we’re not a label, all our music is licensed from rights-holders and we pay them – we don’t pay ourselves.”

As Music Business Worldwide interestingly points out in a new article, the Spotify spokesperson did not directly deny the claim that the streaming service hosts “fake” artists. According to Music Business Worldwide‘s sources, these “fake” artists and their songs on Spotify’s big playlists are “designed to lower the share of music on playlists from legitimate labels – major and indie – that are investing substantial resources to develop quality artists and music, so that Spotify can lower its content costs and lessen the influence of the labels.”

To reinforce this accusation, Music Business Worldwide collected a list of 50 allegedly “fake” artists from Spotify, of who have garnered 548 million streams that would normally amount to $3.3 million in royalty payouts. The below lists on artists can only be found on Spotify: they’re no traces of them or their work on YouTube, Apple Music or elsewhere on the Internet:

  1. Amity Cadet (9.2m)
  2. Gabriel Parker (24.9m)
  3. Charlie Key (23.6m)
  4. Ana Olgica (23.5m)
  5. Lo Mimieux (22.3m)
  6. Mbo Mentho (10.3m)
  7. Benny Treskow (14.9m)
  8. Greg Barley (21.4m)
  9. Relajar (13.4m)
  10. Jeff Bright Jr (15.8m)
  11. Mayhem (10.2m)
  12. Novo Talos (17.2m)
  13. Advaitas (7.4m)
  14. Clay Edwards (4.7m)
  15. Benny Bernstein (9.6m)
  16. Enno Aare (17.1m)
  17. Amy Yeager (5.7m)
  18. Otto Wahl (27m)
  19. Piotr Miteska (26.7m)
  20. Greg Bartley (21.4m)
  21. Leon Noel (2.7m)
  22. Giuseppe Galvetti (2.7m)
  23. Caro Utobarto (1.2m)
  24. Risto Carto (1.7m)
  25. Enno Aare (17.1m)
  26. Hultana (3.2m)
  27. Hiroshi Yamazaki (8.6m)
  28. Milos Stavos (7.1m)
  29. Allysa Nelson (4.3m)
  30. They Dream By Day (16.2m)
  31. Evelyn Stein (14.3m)
  32. Józef Gatysik (10.4m)
  33. Jonathan Coffey (480k)
  34. Pernilla Mayer (4.2m)
  35. Hermann (11.8m)
  36. Aaron Lansing (11.3m)
  37. Dylan Francis (6.5m)
  38. Christopher Colman (509k)
  39. Sam Eber (1.6m)
  40. Fellows (3.3m)
  41. Martin Fox (2.5m)
  42. Deep Watch (4.8m)
  43. The 2 Inversions (10.3m)
  44. Bon Vie (4.7m)
  45. Wilma Harrods (5.3m)
  46. Antologie (5.8m)
  47. Enno Aare (17.1m)
  48. Heinz Goldblatt (513k)
  49. Charles Bolt (32.4m)
  50. Samuel Lindon (11.8m)