Streaming Silence and Scamming Spotify

An article in the Guardian today explains how Vulfpeck, a funk band from Michigan, has released an album of silence, in order to scam spottily.

Their new album Sleepify consists of 10 songs of absolute silence, each clocking in at either 31 or 32 seconds long (tracks need to be listened to for 30 seconds to register as having been played). All they ask is that their fans stream it overnight on repeat while they sleep, in order to produce enough royalties for the band to go on tour.

While there is a certain elegance in this idea, it’s also quite pathetic. If they need to nickel and dime Spotify – or, more correctly, play them for tenths of nickels – to have enough money to tour, they should probably go into another business.

Apparently, this is a thing: asking fans to play your music in loops to get money from Spotify. This is akin to putting Google Ads on your site then having all your friends click on the links, over and over, so you can make some spare change.

I predict that Spotify will introduce a limit to payments because of this type of scam. They could limit the number of plays per 24 hours by each user, and a lot of bands would lose out on real income.

Oh, and, I wonder: has Vulfpeck made a high-resolution version of Sleepify to play on Neil Young’s Pono?