There are ways that bots can trick a music streaming service to pay royalty per track, as long as a track is not less than 30 seconds. It’s not the only way to trick a music streaming service, like Apple Music. It appears that Apple Music fraud has fallen by 30 per cent in the past year after the company implemented stronger protection against streaming manipulation.
A report by Billboard states that Apple Music quietly rolled out its own strengthened fraud protections, including hitting repeat offenders with “financial adjustments”, more than a year ago. Apple Music’s internal metrics indicate that the policy has already led to a 30 per cent drop in streaming manipulation.
A simple way of gaming the system involves a musician using a network of bots to constantly stream their music 24/7 in order to obtain royalties. Some musicians even create albums of 31-second songs. Though Apple has been trying out the measures for a long time, it has come to light in the past few days.
Billboard has seen an email that the music platform sent to industry partners in March. To help labels and distributors figure out where fraud is occurring, Apple Music’s email says the platform started sending daily reports detailing ‘a content provider’s albums with streams held in review’. “After each review,” the email said: “We remove manipulated streams and release legitimate plays. At the end of each month, content providers also receive a report with all excluded streams.”
Apple Music reportedly has the lowest fraud level in the music streaming business.