The Austin promotion firm gives us a tutorial on how to rack up your stream count…
By Paul Marszalek
There are radio programmers, particularly (but not exclusively) within the Alternative format who increasingly use streaming numbers to drive their musical decision-making.
Nothing wrong with that. But as we’ve stated before, they might consider exactly how some songs accumulate those numbers.
The Supreme Team, and Austin-based streaming promotion firm, dropped a sales email that shows us exactly how things are done. The Supreme Team sells itself partly as a resource to level the playing field with the major labels, but at the same time names Universal, Republic, Island, EMI, Virgin, Polydor, and others among its clientele.
The full marketing email is printed below, along with select screenshots from the Supreme Team website.
There’s nothing in the following on which to pass judgement – it’s completely legal, and frankly, equally compelling. Radio programmers might scratch their heads over “payola/plugola” comparisons, but those regulations only apply when a broadcast license and the public airwaves are involved. In the digital world, anything goes.
The Supreme Team pitch:
A Supreme Team Spotify promotion:
Supreme Team Tik Tok promotions:
Learn more on the Supreme Team site.
It May be “Legal” but it’s a tool used to game the system over and over. Look at any single release and all that’s touted is the MEGA streams, which are bought and paid for. There are a series of articles that are well sourced that show the level of money that goes into gaming the streaming system and using it as a tool to have radio play these songs
Absolutely correct, and it goes beyond the radio airplay angle. Because Spotify, for example, does not actually pay artists by actual stream, but rather by algorithmic estimate, major labels that inflate streaming numbers simultaneously increase their share of the streaming rights payouts. Worst case, these stream inflating practices at least partially pay for themselves.