Yesterday, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) reported that Firefly Entertainment was linked to a series of “fake” artist profiles on Spotify.
The indie label earned millions of dollars from the stream by placing the tracks in its account on first-party playlists. .. The Swedish Musicians Association is now asking Spotify to start a comprehensive survey. DN’s shocking article (blocked in Swedish and paywall) claims that the “artist” in question “doesn’t really exist,” and some call their infamy “from Swedish musicians.” It led to the opposite of “scandal”. ..“The artists can be linked to the fast-growing Karlstad-based company Firefly Entertainment, whose turnover has risen to SEK 65 million [currently $6.97 million] annually,” DN wrote in a follow-up piece today. “The survey shows that about 20 people are behind over 500 artist names.
“Several of the fictional artists have more listeners each month than” popular Swedish musician Håkan Hellström (almost 678,000 monthly listeners on Spotify) and “Some Die Young” singer-songwriter Laleh (about 866,000 monthly listeners), continued DN.
The outlet also emphasized suspicion of a relationship between Firefly and Spotify. Specifically, through a person named Nick Holmstén, who was “formerly part of Spotify’s top management, a global music director, and synonymous with playlist focus.” However, Holmstén is currently the co-founder and co-CEO of a company called TSX Entertainment. Firefly announced in late January this year that it had invested in TSX, which is building “a $ 2.5 billion private building with immersive branding, retail, hospitality and entertainment projects” in Times Square. Higherups will reportedly start this project in the first quarter of 2023.
“On social media, he [Holmstén] can be seen hanging out with the Firefly founder, who has also participated in major Spotify events. Through his new company, Nick Holmstén says he was not involved in licensing agreements with record companies during his time at Spotify,”.
Of course, the profile of the relatively popular Spotify artist isn’t new to anyone other than the artist. For example, already in early 2021, the “white noise” site caught the attention of the media with Spotify’s large followers and corresponding significant revenue.
One such profile, called “White Noise Baby Sleep,” has accumulated an astonishing 716.26 million Spotify streams so far, titled “Clean White Noise-Loopable Without Fades”.
Needless to say, these tracks and similar tracks usually don’t spotlight playlists curated by popular Spotify from real artists. This point is worth considering given the ongoing criticism (along with direct royalties). This information is consistent with Spotify’s previous disclosure that “out of the 8 million people who delivered songs to Spotify, 5.4 million have released less than 10 tracks so far,” creating a streaming service. Asking interesting questions about people. Their goal is to have 50 million developers on the platform by 2025 with the community.
“In the industry, there are rumors that there are manipulated playlists and songs that are fake,” Swedish Musicians’ Union president Jan Granvik said of the Firefly fake-artist controversy, per a Swedish-language statement provided to DN. “It will be a question of credibility for the entire music industry. Spotify must investigate and transparently report what has happened and what it intends to do.”
According to the same outlet, Firefly executive Peter Classon said: “There is no direct relationship with Spotify, etc. that may affect the playlist. In terms of the number of songs on Spotify’s playlist, it refers to Spotify. This means that the song is on the playlist. We control the process and strongly deny that our connection with Nick Holmstén, who left Spotify in 2019, will impact our business. ” Spotify — stated in June 2020 that “you can’t pay to join an official Spotify playlist,” but mentioned the ability to provide playlist spots to “artists” who accept low payments. Instead, this current controversy is taken up in another statement.
“We at Spotify do not decide how an artist chooses to present their works, and we have no opinion on whether they publish their songs with their real names or under a pseudonym,” communicated a spokesperson. Songs “are licensed by rights holders and we pay them a license fee for their music,” proceeded the comment.