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The Risks Of Botted Spotify Playlists (Spoiler: It's Bad)

We're big believers that playlists are a huge driver of success for artists in today's age.

Unfortunately, a growing number of artists are being misled or conned into thinking they've secured a spot on an authentic playlist, only to discover it's riddled with bots. Our data shows up to 64% of small artists looking for playlist placements have been placed in botted playlists. Crazy, right?

While the allure of instant visibility might be tempting, the risks of botted playlists aren't worth the risk. Let's explore the risks.


What are the risks of botted playlists?

  • Reduced Algorithm & Editorial Support — Spotify's recommendation algorithms, such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar, rely on genuine user engagement to suggest tracks. Botted streams, lacking real engagement, hinder Spotify's ability to determine who to show your music to. Low engagement relative to high stream numbers can also be a red flag, causing the algorithm to sideline your music. From our experience, artists plagued with botted playlist placements/streams also get excluded from Editorial consideration.

  • Getting Banned on Spotify — One of the most severe repercussions of using botted playlists is facing Spotify's penalties. The platform employs sophisticated algorithms to detect bot activities. If found guilty, artists or playlist curators can face temporary suspensions or even permanent bans, effectively ending their Spotify journey... and from our experience, appeal emails often go unreviewed.

  • Royalties Getting Withheld — While botted streams might seem like a way to boost earnings, the reality is starkly different. Spotify's payout system is designed to reward genuine streams. If the platform detects bot activities, any potential earnings from these fake streams can be withheld. In some cases, Spotify might even reclaim previously paid royalties up to 3 months prior, leading to financial losses for the artist.

  • Skewed Analytics — Relying on botted playlists can distort an artist's understanding of their audience. With inflated numbers, genuine metrics like audience demographics, engagement rates, and song preferences become clouded. This skewed perspective will surely lead to misguided marketing decisions, hindering genuine growth opportunities.


How do I know if a playlist is botted?

Your first line of defense should be to run the playlist through a Playlist Bot Checker.


If a Spotify Bot Checker doesn't have enough data on a playlist, or you want to learn how to discern between an authentic and botted playlist yourself, here are some tell-tale signs a playlist is botted:


  • Unusual Growth Patterns — A sudden and massive surge or dip in followers or streams over a short period can be a red flag. Authentic playlists grow steadily, with occasional spikes due to popular tracks or mentions. However, if the growth seems too rapid to be organic, it might be worth running through artist.tools Spotify Bot Checker.


  • Low Engagement Rates — Bots can play songs, but they're rarely sophisticated enough to engage. If a track on a playlist has a high number of streams but minimal saves, shares, or follows, it's a potential indicator of bot activity. Another major red flag is if a playlist has a low number of listeners and a high number of streams.


  • Mismatched Demographics — If the majority of listeners come from regions unrelated to the artist's primary audience or if there's an unusual distribution of age or gender, be cautious. Bots often originate from specific locations, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, as this is where the world's major data centers are located.


  • Generic User Profiles — Bots often operate under generic or blank profiles, with randomly generated names like "7w24423kjhsdfkjh34kh". If a curator's profile has a bunch of these followers, that can be a sign of bot-driven activity. Authentic listeners typically have more personalized profiles, complete with playlists and favorite tracks.


  • Too Good To Be True — If a playlist curator promises guaranteed stream numbers or accepts any artist willing to pay, it's essential to tread carefully. Authentic playlist curators focus on the quality and fit of the music rather than making lofty promises.


How do I get out of a botted playlist?

That's a great question. One with an easy answer! Check it out.


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