Pay for Play

by Rowen Motley about a month ago in industry

The scam of paying to get your music playlisted.

Pay for Play

In an ever so vast world and industry it’s often hard to pick up on a scam such as Paying for Plays or Paying to get Playlisted on platforms such as Spotify, Tidal, and so forth. Paying for plays has seem to become an epidemic that if not most artists all new indie artist seem to fall for. And I’m not here to discourage anyone from participating in such an act though it would be wise to read this article to its entirety because this may save you funds in the long run that you may need for other aspects of your career such as social media marketing, album art designers, distribution and so on. At this point you may be asking what Paying for Plays is or what Paying to get Playlisted does; so let’s jump right into the definitions and help YOU avoid a scam you cannot afford now.


The Urban Dictionary simply explains Paying For Play/ P2P as “A sexual act of prostitution where one would pay in exchange for a sexual favor or act,” and they are not wrong because if you Paid for Play you would be prostituting yourself and your music and we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t be doing this.


While there isn’t a formal definition for Paying to get Playlisted we can still define it as “Paying to get on a Spotify/ any music streaming platform playlist.” Which if you haven’t picked up by now is wrong.

Why Paying for Plays/Playlisting might be a scam

While getting a thousand streams a day may sound amazing as well as your way of making it to the top as you reach a new milestone in your music career as an artist; paying for plays/streams/playlisting may do more damage towards the brand you’ve built as an indie artist or creative. Due to the popularity and a shift of more and more artists and creatives choosing to stay independent; some people have found this as a loophole to profit of the hard work you’ve placed in creating your content by offering such services as pay for plays/streams/playlisting.

It’s more often that indie artists find themselves on the wrong side when dealing with such service; though the number of streams may seem amazing and mesmerizing; how many of those streams are genuine and not bots? The likelihood of those streams being genuine is extremely slim and due to streaming services running their own algorithms you may find yourself exiled from releasing any content to any and all streaming service.

YOU may have just killed your career

The popularity of being an indie artist has grown since 2015 and large streaming companies have taken note of this and due to artists being independent pay for play scams seem to be on the rise every day almost becoming an epidemic you cannot ignore and the treatment is knowing how to combat it before you fall victim to killing your own artist career.

And how you do that is by using such services as paying for plays/streams/playlisting; what most of you may not know is that companies such as Spotify have algorithms to detect genuine plays and bots this also does affect your payout as well as your artist profile and if bot plays/streams were linked with your artist profile you may face having your artist profile permanently removed and marked as breaking the terms of use with any streaming service.

And this would have killed your career before it even began.

I know you may not believe me so why don’t you follow the link below and hear it for yourself by Spotify employees. That there is no such thing as Pay for Play or what they’d like to call it Payola.

Rowen Motley
Rowen Motley
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