Most of the comments are hilariously banal, but a few do stand out. Most of them are like this. Louie deleted this track after I contacted him about this story, so the comments are all gone; all of these were preserved via screenshots. He also renamed his account. But why would someone do this?
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After leafing through hundreds of followers and compiling these screenshots, I contacted Louie by email with my evidence. His first reply consisted of a sheaf of screenshots of his own — his tracks prominently displayed on the front page of Beatport, Traxsource and other sites, along with charts and reviews. It seemed irrelevant to me at the time — but pay attention. After reiterating my questions, I was surprised when Louie brazenly admitted that everything implied above is, in fact, true.
He is paying for plays. His fans are imaginary. Sadly, he is not a god. In exchange for omitting all reference to his name and label from this story, he agreed to talk in detail about his strategy of gaming SoundCloud, and then manipulating others — digital stores, DJs, even simple fans — with his fake popularity.
But why? This is where Louie was most helpful. And indeed, many of the tracks that he juiced with fake SoundCloud plays were later featured prominently on the front pages of both Beatport and Traxsource — a highly coveted source of promotion for a digital label.
He paid Cloud-Dominator. Eclectic tastes, these bots have. This entire technique was manipulated in the early days of MySpace and YouTube, but it also existed before the dawn of the internet. SoundCloud claimed 18 million registered users back in Forbes in August This article is a sterling endorsement for many of the services brokering fake plays and fake followers. They do exactly what they say they will: inflate plays and gain followers in an at least somewhat under-the-radar manner.
Offering and using paid promotion services or other means to artificially increase play-count, add followers or to misrepresent the popularity of content on the platform, is contrary to our TOS. None of the incredibly obvious bots I identify here have been deleted. Rest assured, all of them appear prominently in Google searches for related keywords.
The visibility in the web jungle is very difficult. For Louie, this is simply a marketing plan.
And truthfully, he has history on his side, though he may not know it. For much of the last sixty years, in form if not procedure, this is exactly how records were promoted. In the s, there were Congressional hearings; radio DJs found guilty of accepting cash for play were ruined. Payola was banned but the practice continued to flourish into the last decade. Payola consists of giving money or benefits to mediators to make songs appear more popular than they are. But Louie feels he has little choice. Language problems. Went to check you page, was surprised to see so much Garage music!
Good quality though.
Kyle Bautista | Free Listening on SoundCloud
There used to be a time where you had to invest in material, time and needed much dedication to deliver something. Genres have never been this clear defined in their narrowness because most of it comes right out the same software boxes. And what happened to the fans themselves?
Honestly, there used to be a time where people in general could distinguish music from rubbish, but those days are over. TV, radio and internet, they have over the decades programmed people what they should like. That is why hyping tracks with fake followers etc. Night and day people listen to their devices, they hardly remember what silence is like. The necessary contrast is missing in their digital lives. All these things add up to a zombie population that has no clue which art or music has real value, has soul; and which not. No doubt. Hi there! Maybe you get thrown a free listen, like or comment by the bots now to make their choices seem more organic?
What happens if a really talented group does this after a year of not receiving any public interest? Before Moby Dick was published the book was rejected over and over again by many publishing companies. It may be silly, but it may be the only shot some real artists have in the industry today. What do you guys think? Nothing wrong with this at all. End of the day as Morgan say it come down to a lil bit o luck,and good record.
A bit late to the party but I honestly agree. These trends end up spawning hundreds of copycat producers in a bid to light their own popularity fire on the back of this huge bandwagon and what happens is that real musicians get their content completely drowned out because there is such mass musical blindness that people can be made to believe that they like something.
As a producer myself I solely enjoy just making the music and being over the moon with even a couple new plays or comments because I just want people to enjoy my stuff. At this point, the humans in the industry are still stupider than the bots. Thank God. This is practically the definition of a pyramid scheme. I dont Agree at all! Sadly Soundcloud is in a poor state these days. It was pretty decent back when it first started out. I think relying on bigger blogs, labels, podcasts and networking in the real world is far more worth than just relying on soundcloud to grow a fan base.
We are past the stage where that is doable, without paying hard cash, which defeats the purpose of obtaining real fans. There are systems where you give comments to other people, and they give it in return, and it creates a cycle of people helping each other. Make good music, sign with labels or start your own, get heard. We need to meet fans half-way and come up with something more pervasive and self-aware, if not better than streaming.
Interesting, but did you notice how Baboom, which had this different distribution system with most of the incentives for the artists themselves, silently went offline again? This is not a free world, whatever people think. Is it possible for someone to apply this shit to your tracks without knowing?
I recently put up a track, and in a week it got plays. For me, thats a pretty big number, but I dont think that is what was out of the ordinary. No, what caught my attention was how my plays are now at as of this morning, and counting. I believe now its at ? And it keeps going. None of my other tracks are getting hits. What the hell is going on with my track?! Well, this is a very interesting article.
Life is about status for most people I guess. They just want to appear great. Same reason why people buy nice clothes, nice cars etc.
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Why not buy some plays to go along with your wanted persona? That would just go to show how easily people are led.
A lot of the time, people will just feel a compulsive urge to compensate you, or find you a gig. Not like 80, or anything gigantic, but enough you know?
Also I was on soundcloud back in the old days, when you could get tons of plays simply by playing good music and being polite to people. People should focus less on being famous, or appearing to be. Should focus more on staying a working musician, and producing music that will last the test of time.