Are today's music charts an accurate reflection of what the masses are really listening to now that streaming
data has become a bigger factor than physical or digital sales? Last century there were various ways to
"work" a record up the charts through compromised airplay, as documented in the book Hitmen by
Frederic Dannen. Now a Rolling Stone article published on June 18, 2019 discusses how music streams can be
rigged to fraudulently pay artists who don't deserve it.
Systems are gamed in multiple industrie while
consumers typically show no interest in what goes on behind the scenes (the key to getting away with it). This
episode examines how data distortion weakens the music industry. It doesn't necessarily point the finger
at anyone, but lays out the strategies that scammers use to make money for nothing. How does Spotify even
know if humans are listening instead of streams being triggered by bots? It doesn't know and has know way
of knowing. Until someone comes up with a brilliant solution to discourage fake streams, the musical landscape
will suffer from portraying inaccurate market statistics.