Monday, 24 August 2015

Major record labels 'are paying up to $10,000 for tracks to appear on popular Spotify playlists'

"Pay for play “is definitely ­happening,” claims a major-label marketing executive, one of several who say that popular playlists can and have been bought. Glass is less assertive: “I’ve heard scuttlebutt about it, but I don’t have concrete evidence.”
According to a source, the price can range from $2,000 for a playlist with tens of thousands of fans to $10,000 for the more well-followed playlists. And these practices are not illegal, although it would be difficult to find an official policy in the fine print. "For a while, Spotify didn't take a view" on such tactics, says one major label executive. But the company has taken a stand against commercializing accounts and playlists by rank-and-file users. In a statement to Billboard, Spotify head of communications Jonathan Prince says its new terms of service, hitting the United States next week, prohibit selling accounts and playlists or “accepting any ­compensation, financial or otherwise, to influence ... the content included on an account or playlist.”
Yet policing, let alone enforcing, these terms could be difficult. Spotify can investigate when allegations arise, and in the case of violations, delete a playlist or remove the user from the service. But there are loopholes. DigMark, for example, believes it operates within Spotify’s rules because it pays a small amount -- typically $100 to $150 -- to tastemakers on a “consultancy” basis, not for placement of specific songs, according to a UMG source with knowledge of the business. The payment is meant to ensure that the playlist creator hears and considers DigMark clients’ music. (Frank would not comment.)"

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