Due to the recent change within the music industry and how music is released to the public, third party, black market businesses have made manipulating streaming numbers a regular occurrence, even among internationally known recording artists.
An episode on Season 2 of Viceland‘s Black Market, which was hosted by late Actor Michael K. Williams, delved into the world of fake streams, exploring streaming farms, where he met a masked person who took the late actor from A to Z of the fake streams game.
The masked man said that high-profile labels and artists use his services to boost their numbers on streaming platforms while lesser-known artists will spike their streams to attract authentic listeners. 100,000 streams typically go for $1,500. “Just run the numbers up. Some people ask for 100K, 200K. Just get the appearance of their music to look good when they come to their page,” said the streaming farm manager.
He went on to say that his services are usually through word of mouth, but he’s typically approached by a label or an A&R. He namedropped rappers French Montana and G-Eazy as clients who have not only used his services, but also been caught. Last year, French Montana was alleged to have bought streams for his single, “Writing On The Wall” ft. Post Malone and Cardi B. G-Eazy’s similarly got caught up in a scandal involving streaming farms to bump up the numbers.