TV Girl shine spotlight on Spotify fake music problem


‘Fake music’ on streaming services is an ongoing challenge for labels and artist teams to tackle.

That’s the case whether the music is really by a star but uploaded without their permission under a different artist name, or the flipside of that: music by an unknown artist uploaded in a way that makes it appear to be by an establish act – including appearing on their profile and in personalised recommendations for their fans.

The latest example is outlined by Input, with a rogue track on Spotify that appeared to be by the band TV Girl, but wasn’t. “They hadn’t greenlit a new single, and the cover art, a hi-res stock photo of two hands clasping, was a far cry from their usual two-tone, film-grain aesthetic… Instead of the hypnotic bedroom pop the band built its following on, this was generic, sanitised EDM,” it explained.

TV Girl found that 11 other artists had similar tracks with similar artwork uploaded to their profiles on 25 or 25 June, suggesting that this may have been a coordinated scam.

The piece (and TV Girl’s scathing Instagram post about the issue) make it clear there are still questions to answer about how it happened – and most importantly, how to stop it happening again.

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I thought this was so ridiculous that I could just “sluff it off” but the amount of horrified fans asking if our new song “grasp” is the new direction we’re going in compels me to say: this is not our new song. It’s an abomination and Morbidly curious listeners should be advised that it will indeed cause you brain damage. It’s some half baked nefarious scam in which some low down scoundrel is taking advantage of our good name (and several other bands) in order to get a few dirty streams of their generic YouTube edm. I’ve already complained to Spotify but those callous dead eyed bureaucrats are unmoved by the plight of a lowly band like TV Girl as long as they can pad out their diseased coffers with a few more microstreams. Feel free to write them a letter declaring how fed up you are with these fraudulent TV Girls that have become a scourge upon the listening public.

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Written by: Stuart Dredge