Spotify, the king of music streaming, has recently come under fire for allegedly paying producers to create songs under “fake” artist aliases, in order to fill out playlists on the popular app.


Now, some severely conflicting accounts are coming to light… After the story blew up in the press, a spokesperson for Spotify quickly countered with an official 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.”

In yet another spin, someone has come forward as one of these undercover artists… Peter Sandberg, a 27-year-old composer claims he creates tracks for Spotify under various pseudonyms. However, as he told The New York Times, he doesn’t want to be called “fake.”

“I’m a composer trying to find a way to grow and spread my work. And to be called fake is not something I appreciate,” Sandberg explained on why he’s speaking out.

It should be noted that Sandberg does have a social media presence for the music released under his own name, making him far less anonymous than many of the other names on the list below (so far). These tracks under suspicion have reportedly racked up over 50 million streams collectively — which should be worth $3 million by Spotify’s standards!

Artists Found Only on Spotify

Amity Cadet (9.2m)
Gabriel Parker (24.9m)
Charlie Key (23.6m)
Ana Olgica (23.5m)
Lo Mimieux (22.3m)
Mbo Mentho (10.3m)
Benny Treskow (14.9m)
Greg Barley (21.4m)
Relajar (13.4m)
Jeff Bright Jr (15.8m)
Mayhem (10.2m)
Novo Talos (17.2m)
Advaitas (7.4m)
Clay Edwards (4.7m)
Benny Bernstein (9.6m)
Enno Aare (17.1m)
Amy Yeager (5.7m)
Otto Wahl (27m)
Piotr Miteska (26.7m)
Greg Bartley (21.4m)
Leon Noel (2.7m)
Giuseppe Galvetti (2.7m)
Caro Utobarto (1.2m)
Risto Carto (1.7m)
Enno Aare (17.1m)
Hultana (3.2m)
Hiroshi Yamazaki (8.6m)
Milos Stavos (7.1m)
Allysa Nelson (4.3m)
They Dream By Day (16.2m)
Evelyn Stein (14.3m)
Józef Gatysik (10.4m)
Jonathan Coffey (480k)
Pernilla Mayer (4.2m)
Hermann (11.8m)
Aaron Lansing (11.3m)
Dylan Francis (6.5m)
Christopher Colman (509k)
Sam Eber (1.6m)
Fellows (3.3m)
Martin Fox (2.5m)
Deep Watch (4.8m)
The 2 Inversions (10.3m)
Bon Vie (4.7m)
Wilma Harrods (5.3m)
Antologie (5.8m)
Enno Aare (17.1m)
Heinz Goldblatt (513k)
Charles Bolt (32.4m)
Samuel Lindon (11.8m)

Sources: The New York Times, Stereogum