“It’s Britney Bitch!” is all the blurb you get in the ‘About’ section of a new podcast that launched on Spotify on 7 October – all 89 episodes of it. And each episode lasts for less than five minutes… because they’re songs: demos, remixes and other rarities from Spears’ career. Oh, and there’s been no official announcement, at the time of writing, on any of the artist’s social-media accounts.

It’s setting off all Music Ally’s warning klaxons, given recent events where artists’ old tracks and demos have appeared on streaming services, uploaded by third parties without permission of the artist or their rightsholders. What we’re asking ourselves is this: if Britney’s team wanted to bulk-release a bunch of rare tracks and historical demos on Spotify, why would they do it as a podcast (with no royalties) rather than as standard audio tracks (with royalties, not to mention access to the Release Radar / Daily Mix recommendation algorithms? Music Ally contacted Spotify last night to ask if these are the latest example of fake uploads, and is awaiting the company’s response.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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