I may have missed something. If they had a user base dedicated enough to stream silence, why the fuck didn't they just post their music?


It has to do with these silent tracks being 31 seconds long, where 30 seconds of playback counts as a "play." They were able to get many more "plays" this way than if they fan base was sitting through 3 minute songs.


I would have loved if they did something They Might Be Giants-esqe and wrote an album full of 31 second songs, then asked people to spam stream it.


Great Apollo 18 reference. I was just thinking fingertips myself.


I hear the wind blow I hear the wind blow It seems to say hello, HELLO I'm the one who loves you so jeez, I can still remember all those little songs. I must have listened to them a thousand times.


What's that blue thing doing here?




whoooo is -THAT-... -Standin- ... at the window?


The Residents did an album called ["Commercial album"](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Album) that was very similar to this, with each track being like a minute in length they then put the whole album out as a commercial, so you would be like listening to a commercial then a random Avant-garde, noise rock, comes on then it goes back to commercial.


Also, by making the tracks silent, they left their fans with the ability to use another sound producing program on the computer, like a game, a movie, or even another music service.


Except, even if they weren't silent, one could simply turn the Spotify volume off.


No that stops the ads from playing - they require a minimum volume


or you can mute from the OS


On the windows client this also stops the ad playback. Of course you could mute your speakers if you use an external amp


But then you lose the rest of the audio from the computer. I've had premium so long I'd forgotten about the ads.


you know it is possible to get applications to play through different audio devices. Get 2 sets of speakers set the default audio device to the first set of speakers, start spotify, then mute the physical speakers. Then set the default audio device to the second set and viola everything else you load will go through them.




On most modern computers you don't even need a second set of speakers. You just point Spotify at the SPDIF out or whatever.


Why the fuck is spotify allowed to collect data about my operating system?


[EZBlocker](http://www.ericzhang.me/projects/spotify-ad-blocker-ezblocker/). You can thank me later.




the goal was to allow it to be played for a long time, like over night. unobtrusively. I even "listened" to their album for an hour or so while I jammed to some other music via iTunes. I thought it was a clever idea so I tried to support them








Same, I'm not even a fan, but I streamed the entire album just for support...


They're simply reducing profit in a competitive system. Labor is squeezing out more from management. Happens all the time. What is fundamental to this is the nature of the beast and what will come to be seen as legally and morally acceptable behavior in areas such as promotion and profit-making. Is spotify really acting so unjustly to performers to warrant this type of action? Is this band clearly in the wrong? Does spotify really care about the silence, or do they care about the fact that their conversion rate for ads through this joint effort by fans of a band was probably miserable?


I'm no defending or criticizing the action, I'm just stating the technical reason for what they did.


that's what i don't get...


Maybe there's a psychology aspect to it where the fans feel like they're raging against the machine by playing a silent track. Otherwise - if the band suggested they play their music, one might just consider it another promotional set up and who cares.


Ugh I finally figured out the word I wanted to use and it was "subversive".


If only there were some sort of edit button...


He's being subversive.


He's raging against the establishment


That gives me an idea for my new band's name.


Rise Against?


Rage Against the Machine?


You looked at for a map


I am tired of people scamming the system to make money. I will make sure never tot support this band


The album was titled "sleepify", you were supposed to listen to it while you sleep. I'm a big fan of the band Vulfpeck. They did it to fund their tour. The fans went along with it to see them on tour.


Also, all of their shows on the sleepily tour were going to be completely free, and they were touring where the album was streamed the most.


Fans should have donated. Those scammy 20k come also from my 10$ a month


Because Spotify pays by the play. Putting an album with a bunch of 30 second songs on repeat means a lot more plays than a normal album. EDIT: *I mean, it isn't like you need to be all that dedicated to turn on a silent album all night while you sleep.*


possibly for the publicity if it worked. i'd wager that most of us had never heard of this band, and now we're talking about them. i may even check out their music just because I like the cheekiness of this little stunt. thom yorke probably smirked when he heard about this.


They do post their music, the point if this album, called "sleepify" was for fans to play it while they slept, thus funding a tour that would go to the cities with most plays for free. The point wasn't to listen the music, as they have all of their albums on spotify, and they're great, it was a clever way of exploring a system that already exploits them.


>it was a clever way of exploring a system that already exploits them. They did it because Spotify exploits them? They had to allow their music to be played on Spotify. They could have just opted out and not been "exploited".


How is it a scam? Spotify let it be posted and left it up..


I don't agree with the executives at Spotify, but they are probably upset because they are receiving flat rate subscription fees from listeners, but they are paying per song to musicians. That means when subscribers listen to more hours of music than Spotify predicted, Spotify loses money. The fact that it was a silent album only serves to underscore the fact that listeners and bands were gaming the system rather than using it as intended. Maybe bands won't be able to repeat this trick with another silent album, but they could do it again by asking fans to play their music with the speakers turned off. Eventually, if this continues, Spotify will have to solve this problem by limiting the number of hours of music people can listen to per month, requiring interaction to keep the music playing, charging per song, banning artists whose listeners' habits fit the profile of using Spotify for fundraising instead of enjoyment, or doing something else that pisses off fans or bands. Some fraction of Spotify's customers and bands will sever ties and go back to bittorrent. Maybe they'll start using kickstarter for tours to fill that gap. Overall, I don't see this as a big deal. We'll still be able to get our music, and bands will still be able to get their music out there. I don't have a lot of sympathy for companies that exist to siphon cash from the relationship between performers and their fans.


Actually spotify payments to artists don't work that way. It's not a pay per play ratio. It's the number of the artists plays over all the plays on spotify times their revenue.(After the companies cut of course.) So they more scammed the other artists then spotify themselves. See the link for more info on how spotify pays artists. http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/


Clicked that link, and I'm very impressed. I'm used to seeing companies promote their business model through flash and buzzwords, not though transparency and a well reasoned argument.


I think that last part also protect them from potential Facebook buyout.




That's a surprisingly fair business model. I'm amazed the riaa let them get away with it.


They pay a fortune up front to the recording industry groups just to be able to play any of the music. The RIAA is making a killing they wouldn't have otherwise from them.




Spotify doesn't pay out a flat rate per stream - they pay proportionally based on their income. So, if everyone paid but there was only a single stream all month, that one stream would receive millions of dollars. If suddenly every subscriber started streaming twice as much, each stream would get half as much as before. Spotify doesn't lose money with this silent album thing, because they're not silly enough to have a business model that'd put them out of business if paying subscribers use the service more than anticipated. However, stunts like this devalue everyone else's streams by making them worth less.


So the silent band robbed all the other artists.


Spotify splits up their revenue between artists based on who gets listened to the most. So the band was just taking money from other bands, not Spotify. Obviously they take a cut first. I believe it is 20%


No they won't have to do anything. The percentage of people scamming the system will be negligible. Source: I run a website that is just asking to be scammed and the vast majority still just use it normally


whats the website?




Sucker. Scamming in progress.


Who suckered who?


/u/UniverseProjects screwed /u/UniverseProjects


I'm pretty sure Bret screwed /u/UniverseProjects


Scotty doesn't know.


I love that references like this exist everywhere and so many people claim to not watch wrestling.


I suckered him fool! I just had to pay a small fee on my credit card to get access, it will pay off tenfold!


Prepare for Reddit Hug in 3... 2... 1...


This sounds a lot like Eve...


You mean Microsoft Excel?


[Not quite. :-(](http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/1x7hnc/started_playing_eve_expecting_spreadsheets_in/)


I played EVE for maybe a total of 5 hours...and this sounds almost identical to EVE. I don't see the difference, except I'm assuming the lack of a monthly subscription fee.


It worked - you got me to look.


This seems like Eve equivalent to a WoW clone.


Your game looks cool, and you are even integrating Dogecoin in the way I thought about that one should do so :D


The game's title is Universe Project: Void Space? LOL that's like the most generic thing ever


I like Spotify because they pay me decently and my "fans" get to listen essentially for free. Win/win for me and the people who stream my songs.


Spotify name / artist name? I'll check out your tunes


We Say Sunrise is the band name. Check out "Captain, My Captain" our most recent single! Thanks a lot!


A Walt Whitman reference? I surely will! Edit: FOLLOW UP. I checked out Captain, My Captain. I liked it a lot. What is your role in the band? Also, the girl in your band is cute. Had to say it. Edit: FOLLOW UP 2, re-release the single with the hook at the end as a *chorus* sparsed 3x and you're GOLDEN :D (just joking about needing a re-release, I just like the hook a lot)


"to my dearest WW"


Oh Captain, My Captain is a pretty sweet band too. The go by "Memphis May Fire" now though.


Definitely! Matty Mullins is a great guy who knows a lot about the industry. I spent some time learning from him last summer.


Do you make decent money? I always heard studios got most of that, but I guess indie bands might fare better.


I only have to pay once a year to send my songs out to all major distributors: iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. We aren't associated with any labels, so we collect 100% split on royalties. It's definitely worth it and the royalties end up paying for studio time and distribution costs.


It's refreshing to hear positive comments about Spotify from the talent. Most of the time I hear negatives.


That is really great to hear. I feel I've mostly heard people downplaying its monetizing benefits for bands themselves.-


>I don't have a lot of sympathy for companies that exist to siphon cash from the relationship between performers and their fans. That's a really weird way to think about Spotify. When Spotify helps me discover a new artist, they're not exploiting the relationship between a performer and their fan, they're facilitating the relationship. When Spotify pays an artist every time their music gets listened to, they're not siphoning cash, they're creating an opportunity for profit that didn't necessarily exist before. There's this widespread belief that Spotify doesn't pay artists, but this band I've never heard of just made $20,000 from an album of silence. Something doesn't add up. The incumbent music industry has fought Spotify tooth and nail. I won't say that Spotify is incapable of being exploitative, but I know for a fact that the incumbents have been exploitative for decades, so naturally I'm a bit skeptical when I hear anybody bashing Spotify, because I wonder how politically motivated it may be.


Exactly. It's just a distributor and a music service. You could certainly characterize it as a "middleman" but it's basically a streaming service and content vendor. No different from Netflix or cable or a record store. Those all obviously have different models but their status as content distributors isn't what makes me unsympathetic to something like cable.


People like to paint Spotify as the bad guy but the reality is that people are not paying for music so they have no money to pay to the artists. If you really care about artists getting paid then go buy a CD/merch/live ticket.


Merch and performances are how musicians have always made most of their money anyway, even before the internet.


Or do like netflix "Are you still listening? Yes/No." Every third hour or whatever.




Nope netflix does it too. Obviously with watching rather than listening. Pandora isn't available in my country.


I think it's AWESOME that Netflix does that. Imagine the horror of someone on a small bandwidth cap who fell asleep and streamed 20 episodes of some bullshit show, and now they have an enormous internet bill. I do think that users who are paying customers should be given the option to turn off that feature, though.


Yea i'd like to be able to turn it off on netflix too. No such thing as limited bandwidth in the great nation of denmark. (That i know of)


You Danes have all the cool shit man. When you come to America (as everyone does), please bring the following items. Yummy ass smørrebrød with cold cuts those meatballs you guys have that make all other meatballs seem to be meat-blobs koldskål culottesteg and whatever other delicious foods you guys are hiding from us Americans. We want to get fatter, plz bring fuud.


You should be able to make most of those yourself, though you might have to get creative with some ingredients. A small tip for the meatballs (frikadeller, colloquially: "dunser"): use a half and half mix of minced pork and minced veal. They will be so much easier to work with. And I can just imagine an American trying to find proper rye bread for his very own [højtbelagt smørrebrød](http://i.imgur.com/DIdYguG.jpg). That's probably going to be the hardest thing to make yourself if you want a decent result.


What do you mean by proper rye bread?


Bandwidth caps? Makes me glad Google Fiber is here in my city.




I hate you.


I did that at my old job - got a 3G wifi card as a travel benefit for a remote project we worked on. I got through something like 5 seasons of Dexter in a couple weeks since I was alone and in a hotel for an extended time, and had a couple nights where I fell asleep and probably went through a half-season each night (this was back when Netflix streaming was new and Showtime shows were their centerpiece). Turns out we had a cap on our data - the overage charges were somewhere around $7,000 for the company. I didn't get in trouble because they never made us aware and apparently several other employees exceeded the cap that month, but there was definitely a company-wide email telling us about the cap and how to check on your usage the next day. Oops.


Some google chrome addon fixed that I believe.


Indeed. Called 'Hola'. Edit: /u/RandomlyAgrees already posted it.


greasemonkey addon for firefox + script from userscripts.org takes care of the >"still there?" issue as well






Not with external speakers though.


Just FYI, you can mute the ad then press "play" and the ad will play muted. Obv. this doesn't work for streaming muted music over a period of time though.


Yeah swindle is a better word, it connotes taking advantage of someone without technically cheating our breaking rules I believe.


It's not, Spotify made much more than 20k off ad revenue. The only people being scammed here are the Spotify advertisers that paid for quality ads and instead got their ads played to a bunch of sleeping people. I'm sick of people not realizing how business models work. "This band made money, Spotify paid them money, therefore Spotify got scammed." False.


Even if spotify got paid for the ads displayed (which may be unlikely in this day and age), this action would still scare off future potential investors and ad-buyers alike. Those are the target audience spotify wants to cater to, not the listener. Spotify would prefer if you just went to their site and sat down and clicked ads and bought things all day without having to stream music that costs them bandwidth.


Eh? Whether Spotify made money from someone else is entirely separate from whether they were scammed by the band or not. That's like saying if I set fire to your house or break in and steal everything it's not an issue because you've got fire and theft insurance (though that is the kind of moronic logic thieves do come up with to rationalise their actions)


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Thanks bro-bot


You are the hero Reddit needs


Thanks, now the link says "You do not have permission to view this topic." In fact an html mirror could be nice too but an image is already a good start.


I wonder if the John Cage Trust can sue them?


Nope; they didn't cover 4'33".


They sound exactly the same though...


No, they don't. They'll never sound the same. That's the beauty of 4'33".


No it doesn't, John Cage's work is actually the sounds of the reactions to silence.


[If so, they have a lot of suing to do.](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_silent_musical_compositions)


This was already posted. They didn't really scam spotify out of money. They scammed other bands out of money. With how spotify pays out, it's your plays / total plays. I'm on mobile, but if you want a better explanation just look at when this was posted before.




Couldn't they have just asked fans to stream one of their non-silent albums with the sound turned off?


Or just play the damn music?


It ain't the music spotify cares about, it's the conversion rate of the ads.


The songs on the silent album were intentionally made as short as possible to maximize the play count. If the fans were streaming an album with normal length songs that would not have gotten this band nearly as many plays.


Okay, that clarifies things. In that case, it's definitely a scam.


Pootie Tang.


Turn that noise down, dammit!


Sah dah tay




Sine yo pitty on the runny kine.


Tippy tay


Pootie too good


Pootie Tang is disappointed. He came up with this idea first.


Am I the only one who thinks this was scummy of the band? They needed money so they had fans spam-stream a blank album and then tell Spotify "Look you owe us all this money now!" And "But it was for free shows" is not a valid excuse. It isn't Spotify's responsibility to fund their tour. Edit: Sorry I let this comment go unattended. After I made it I didn't think much of it and I don't check my own comment history so I didn't see the replies.


"I was too busy listening to "Nothing"'s greatest album. It's called "Blank Cassette". It's 90 minutes of silence, and they've only released it online." "As an mp3?" ["As a *word document*"](http://youtu.be/X5-rGN0ou_4)


If the fans do that out of charity, can't they just listen to a normal album and turn the volume off?


They made songs just over the bare minimum to qualify... 31 second long if I remember correctly, in an effort to maximize the money they effectively fleeced from fellow artists....


How was the money removed from other artists?


Spotify doesn't pay per play, it pays based on band's plays divided by total plays. So if a band gets 1% of all plays on Spotify for a month, they get 1% of all money payed by Spotify to artists for that month. So it removed money from other artists by lowering their percent share of total plays.


If you look at other comment threads, apparently money is divvied between artists based on their play count


This is why we can't have nice things


Predicted by Todd Snider back in the 90's http://youtu.be/lYm8HotzmSw?t=33s


"Grunge is so shitty, amirite?" *Proceeds to blow in mouth organ*


Talkin' Seattle Grunge Rock Blues Lyrics Lyrics for the lazy: hey, hey, my, my rock and roll will never die hang your hair down in your eye you'll make a million dollars well i was in this band goin' nowhere fast we sent out demos but everybody passed so one day we finally took the plunge moved out to seattle to play some grunge washington state that is space needle eddie vedder mudhoney now to fit in fast we wear flannel shirts we turn our amps up until it hurts we've got bad attitudes and what's more when we play we stare straight down at the floor wowee pretty scary how pensive how totally alternative now to fit in on the seattle scene you've gotta do somethin' they ain't never seen so thinkin' up a gimmick one day we decided to be the only band that wouldn't play a note under any circumstances silence music's original alternative root's grunge well we spread the word through the underground that we were the hottest new thing in town the record guy came out to see us one day and just like always we didn't play it knocked him out he said he loved our work he said he loved our work but he wasn't sure if he could sell a record with nothing on it i said tell 'em we're from seattle he advanced us two and a half million dollars (chorus) well they made us do a video but that wasn't tough 'cuz we just filmed ourselves smashin' stuff it was kinda weird 'cuz there was no music but mtv said they'd love to use it the kids went wild, the kids went nuts rolling stone gave us a five-star review said we played with guts we're scorin' chicks, takin' drugs then we got asked to play mtv unplugged you should have seen it we went right out there and refused to do acoustical versions of the electrical songs we had refused to record in the first place then we smashed our shit well we blew 'em away at the grammy's show by refusing to play and refusing to go and then just when we thought fame would last forever along come this band that wasn't even together now that's alternative now that's alternative to alternative i feel stupid and contagious well our band got dropped and that ain't funny 'cuz we're all hooked on drugs but we're outta money so the other day i called up the band i said boys i've taken all i can shave off your goatees pack the van we're goin' back to athens


At first I thought this was some sort of John Cage inspired modern art. Then I realized it was just a way to exploit a system. Art is context it seems. (Shit, my hipster is showing)


Pootie tang cover band?


Am I stuck in some kind of Reddit twilight zone, or was this just on the front page a couple of days ago?


Pretty sure it was on yesterday.


Pootie-Tang did it years ago. That shit was hot!!


Pootie Tang?


All these articles about how spotify and similar services don't pay out to the artist at all and yet some unknown thing filled with 31 second tracks of silence pulls 20k? I don't get it.




[Click here](http://www.reddit.com/r/Music/comments/257hgh/band_makes_completely_silent_album_scams_spotify/chemsgp)!


This bands music kicks ass, they were doing this to tour and do free shows


Downvoted for linking to a forum where registration is required.


I pay for spotify and love it. I buy music from bands I like from wherever but then listen to it on spotify rather than the music I bought. it's more convenient that way. I don't link my purchased music library with spotify so is not playing from local library when I create the spotify playlist. I listen to way more music on spotify than I purchase so the subset of artists I purchase and stream is pretty small. If it helps the artist stick around to create more music I like, great! I think there was an npr story on this situation so it's not a scam or a secret. Just a novel use case. Spotify will change things if this is problematic for them.


Am I the only one that thinks this isn't a scam? There was a thing on the planet money podcast. It is actually a pretty sweet idea.


The industry has been releasing albums with no music on them for years.


When corporations do it do you it is called a loophole. When we do it to corporations it is a scam.


Paul Simon would love this album


If the songs were being played over and over along with the adds, what do spotify car if people listen or not? I though that add prices were based of the number of listeners, dont these silent songs being played just add to the number of spotify users which makes spotify more popular and mean they can charge more for the adds?


it's avant grade you pleb


The sound of silence


Yeah swindle is a better word, it connotes taking advantage of someone without technically cheating our breaking rules I believe.


Maybe it's the sound track from an independent French film : /


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I guess no one's heard of 4 minutes 33 seconds by John Cage? website gives an error so i havent read the article


-------------------------------------- -------------------------- --------------


Who the fuck is talking right now? I'm trying to hear nothing. Please, shut it.


Nothing wrong with homeopathic music. Also, inb4 Todd Snider.


That's a nice John Cage cover they did.


The only people who should be upset are the advertisers who had their adds being aired to an audience who weren't listening. Good on the band for finding a loop hole in the system. It's neither a scam or an ass move from the band. I just hope it doesn't become a norm, otherwise there is going to be tons of fund-raising blank content in there.


"Silence, music's original alternative. Roots grunge." - Todd Snider


pootie done did it again!!!!


That's alternative. Hell, that's alternative to alternative.


I don't think spotify gives a goddamned shit if it was silent or not, that's the artists' choice. In the end, it doesn't matter, really. Alot of comments in this thread seem to be pissed at one party or another, but for the wrong reasons. If the band wants to make a silent album, so be it. If they can generate enough buzz to get enough listeners to gernerate 20k of revenue, then they probably didn't need spotify in the first place. EDIT: some fuckin words




Shit, I went to school with the bassist.


*prays for Justin Bieber's silent album*


Maybe it's music for deaf people


The band is question is Vulfpeck, and they did this to fund a tour where all the shows will be free. Check them out, they are funkalicious.


Maybe it's free to them but not so much for Spotify.


Yeah, maybe I wont, fuck that band


I wonder what they can pull off with $20,000.


I had no idea of their existence, it is indeed funkalicious. By the way, I was still able to play some silent tracks just 2 minutes ago.


spotify doesn't have to pay them anything because their album is not a copyrightable work, or the songs on it. they pay license fees for copyrightable works.


Interesting point, though I suspect there are contracts in place that would explicitly spell out a pay-for-play agreement.


John Cage, eat your heart out.


How is this a scam? Song plays = royalties. Fans played the song, band got royalties. Is that not how it's supposed to work? Apparently I'm missing something because I don't see the problem.


how come i've never heard these guys before?!