Bloomberg reports on the methods music companies are using to combat various fraudulent schemes on streaming platforms, citing the covert Spotify account used by Warner Music.
Author Ashley Carman cites two of those fraudulent schemes – one is sped-up and slowed-down versions of songs that effectively takes attention away from the authentic tracks. The second is unknown artists tagging recognizable names as being “featured” on a track, thereby giving them access to the platform’s algorithmic promotions built around that bigger star.
To counter those schemes, Warner Music opened a Spotify account Sped-Up Nightcore, which had been rising in the ranks, ultimately becoming one of the top 300 on the platform with over 16 million monthly listeners.
Their most-heard upload is a remix of Lil Uzi Vert’s “Watch This,” which has been consumed over 138 million times. Notably, the account properly credits Lil Uzi Vert, a Warner Music artist, and the original song remixer ARIZONATEARS. The rest of the tracks on the account also come from other Warner-affiliated artists and sub-labels. Some tracks even directly credit Warner as the source.
The account gives off a cool, underground vibe and a veneer of finding something illicit — despite it being an arm of one of the biggest record labels.
Per Billboard, Universal Music Group also operates a similar account – Speed Radio – whose most-popular track to date is a faster version of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” Meanwhile, Spotify launched its own sped-up song playlist that has over 1 million followers and typically features label-approved versions of tracks.