How Music Charts

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On Part 1 of our streaming manipulation series, we took you on a wild ride into depths of playlist fixing. On Part 2, we’re tackling fake artists.... @chartmetric #chartmetric #chartmetric #musicanalysis #musicbusiness #fakestreams #fakeartist #fake #playlists #streaming #recordlabel

Show Notes

  • Highlights  
    • On Part 1 of our streaming manipulation series, we took you on a wild ride into depths of playlist fixing. Today, on Part 2, we’re zeroing in on fake artists.
  • Mission   
    • Good morning, it’s Rutger here at Chartmetric with your 3-minute Data Dump where we upload charts, artists and playlists into your brain so you can stay up on the latest in the music data world.
  • Date
    • This is your Data Dump for Monday, July 1st, 2019.
  • Enter the World of Streaming Manipulation, Part 2 - Fake Artists
    • For Part 1 of our streaming manipulation series, we covered some funny business in the playlisting world. 
    • On Part 2, we’re scratching a different part of streaming’s underbelly: fake artist accounts.
    • Last November, Pop Buzz and others covered a mysterious account uploading ostensibly unreleased Ariana Grande tracks under the name Zandhr.
    • As it turned out, the tracks had been available online for some time, but that didn’t change the fact that a streaming account reportedly not linked to Ariana Grande, according to the BBC, was uploading her intellectual property to potentially profit off of.
    • While the Zandhr account has since been taken down, our data suggests the fake artist accrued 9.5K Spotify followers and almost 30K monthly Spotify listeners, in addition to landing an “Ariana Grande - Every Song” playlist with some 20K+ followers of its own.
    • Playboi Carti found himself in a similar predicament when three different fake accounts — Lil Kambo, Unocarti, and Unocompac — started uploading his tracks, with some pitch-shifting his songs in an attempt to disguise the illegitimate uploads.
    • While both Lil Kambo and Unocarti’s profiles appear to have been taken down, the former amassed a 50K+ playlist reach from 37 playlists and the latter almost a 20K playlist reach from 19 playlists.
    • Unocompac, meanwhile, appears to still have at least one Playboi Carti song up, enjoying 14K Spotify followers and a 30K playlist reach from 54 playlists.
    • The best — or worst — part is that Unocompac’s artist gallery on Spotify includes three out-of-focus nighttime shots of a white suburban teenager posing and throwing up fake gang signs.
    • Shaking my damn head.
    • While this all might seem rather innocuous, as most of these accounts never amass more than a couple of thousand followers, it’s important to remember ...
    • One, fake artist accounts effectively steal intellectual property and income from the legitimate artists they’re “impersonating.”
    • And two, fake artist accounts devalue the work of all legitimate artists who have put their blood, sweat, and tears into making and marketing their art. 
    • While this phenomenon probably isn’t something to worry about in the short-term, how it’s handled now will determine how big of a problem it becomes in the long-term.
    • With so many metadata errors, artist-song mismatches, and unclaimed blackbox royalties as a result, the last thing artists need is an army of mysterious impersonators gaming the system. 
  • Outro
    • That’s it for your Daily Data Dump for Monday, July 1st, 2019. This is Rutger from Chartmetric.
    • Free accounts are at
    • And article links and show notes are at:
    • Happy Monday, and we’ll see you tomorrow!

What is How Music Charts?

Welcome to How Music Charts, where we bring you interviews and analysis from music industry professionals bridging data and creativity in the music business every day. Feel free to email us ([email protected]), say hi on our socials (@chartmetric), and dive deeper into music and data on our blog ( Free accounts are available at!