• New Penalties for Artificial Streaming and How to Stay Safe.

    In an unprecedented move to ensure the integrity of content on their platform, Spotify has recently introduced a new policy that is sending ripples through the music industry.The measures being implemented vary by individual DSP, but primarily are aimed at disincentivizing artificial streaming. The intention is to meaningfully deter bad actors that attempt to divert money from honest, hard-working artists like you.This policy imposes a fine of 10 euros on music labels for every track identified with predominantly fraudulent or artificially inflated stream counts.Major distribution platforms like Highvibes, TuneCore, and CD Baby, renowned for their high-volume, low-margin business models, are particularly alarmed by Spotify’s new policy. These platforms have started sending mass emails to their artists, warning them about the potential consequences of fraudulent streams and urging adherence to Spotify’s guidelines.



    Spotify is implementing a policy whereby distributors like Highvibes will be charged an enforcement penalty per track when flagrant artificial streaming is detected on content supplied by Highvibes Distribution.

    Spotify has now starting charging penalties on record labels and distributors for tracks that accumulate a significant volume of illegitimate streams. These tough measures are to combat the use of fake streaming. Artists discovered to be artificially boosting their streams hold the risk having their royalties withheld, their music removed from the platform and facing permanent bans on their accounts. This could have a significant impact on your label.

    Spotify will apply a fee of €10 / $10.82 for tracks where over 90% of the streams are deemed fraudulent.


    Whilst Spotify is the only DSP now issuing penalty charges for artificial streaming, other key DSP’s are also taking a much more aggressive approach to streaming fraud. Any songs or artists that are identified by a DSP as having high levels of artificial streams may find that the following happens.


    • Your label could be given a ‘strike’.
    • Labels with multiple strikes from a DSP can have their whole catalogue pulled without any notification.
    • Your label could be permanently banned by the DSP.
    • Your label will be flagged to
    • Your song/s are removed from the platform without any notification.
    • Cygnus Music as problematic and we will have to audit your catalogue.
    • Royalties for your label could be held and any previously paid royalties.


    Is Highvibes Distribution  going to penalize me or terminate my account?

    Highvibes will continue to review and update our policies to be a great collaborative and preferred partner to the DSPs we work with which in turn helps and elevates our legitimate clients. We also will continue to educate and inform to be a great service provider and source of information and guidance to our valued and trusted clients. 

     Highvibes Distribution employs a careful approach to consideration of reports of improper activity from our DSP partners. We have implemented a strike system that applies in some instances where we determine that additional information and education will be helpful to our clients to ensure they have the tools they need to be compliant with our DSP partners, and our own, high standards. 

    How can we avoid attracting streaming bots to our music? Avoid using services that promise rapid increases in plays or followers. Focus on organic growth strategies, such as engaging with your audience through social media, live performances, and collaborative project

    How will I know if I’ve incurred a Spotify fee? You will be notified via email and the fee will be assigned to your account.

  • Insights Revealed:Why Some Music Artists' Songs Fail to Secure Playlisting!

    Getting playlisted requires a combination of factors, including the quality of the song, strategic promotion, industry relationships, and sometimes a bit of luck.Playlisting can significantly impact an artist's exposure and success, but there are several reasons why a song might not get playlisted:

    Quality:Similar to overall song success, the quality of the song plays a crucial role. If the song doesn't meet the standards of the playlist curator or the audience's expectations, it's less likely to be included.


    Fit with Playlist Theme or Mood:Playlists often have a specific theme, mood, or genre that they aim to maintain. If a song doesn't align well with the theme or mood of a playlist, it might not be playlisted even if it's a good song.


    Competition:There's fierce competition for playlist placements, especially on popular playlists. If there are many other songs vying for the same spot, it can be challenging for a new artist to break through.


    Relationships and Connections: Like many aspects of the music industry, relationships matter. Artists with pre-existing relationships with playlist curators or those signed to record labels with strong industry connections might have an advantage in getting playlisted.


    Streaming Service Algorithms:Some playlists are curated by algorithms based on user behavior, popularity, and other factors. If a song doesn't perform well in terms of streaming numbers or engagement, it might not be recommended by these algorithms for inclusion in playlists.


    Promotion and Marketing:Effective promotion and marketing efforts can increase the chances of a song being noticed and playlisted. Artists who actively promote their music and engage with their audience are more likely to catch the attention of playlist curators.


    Distribution Channels:The availability of the song on various streaming platforms can also affect playlisting opportunities. If the song is only available on a limited number of platforms or has exclusive distribution deals, it might miss out on potential playlist placements.


    Lack of Data or Analytics: Playlist curators often rely on data and analytics to make decisions about which songs to include. If there's limited data available for a new artist or song, it might be overlooked in favor of more established or data-backed choices.


    Timing: The timing of the song release can also impact its playlisting opportunities. Releasing a song during a crowded time or when there's a lot of buzz around other releases might decrease its chances of being playlisted.


    Streaming Metrics: Streaming platforms often consider factors like listener engagement, retention rates, and previous performance when selecting songs for playlists. If a song hasn't generated enough streams or lacks listener engagement, it may be overlooked by algorithms or human curators

  • Decoding Your Sound: A Guide to Choosing the Right Genre for Your Music

    Certainly! Choosing genres for your music can greatly impact your success as an artist. Here's a guide on how to choose genres effectively:

    1. Know Your Sound: Before selecting genres, it's essential to understand your music's style, vibe, and unique elements. Consider the instrumentation, tempo, mood, and lyrical themes of your songs.

    2. Research: Explore different genres and sub-genres to familiarize yourself with their characteristics. Listen to popular artists within each genre and analyze their sound, instrumentation, production techniques, and audience demographics.

    3. Identify Influences: Reflect on the artists and music that inspire you. Which genres do they primarily belong to? Understanding your musical influences can provide insight into the genres that resonate with your style and preferences.

    4. Experimentation: Don't be afraid to experiment with different genres during the songwriting and production process. Try blending elements from multiple genres to create a unique sound that reflects your artistic vision.

    5. Audience Consideration: Consider your target audience and their musical preferences. Which genres are popular among your potential listeners? Tailor your genre selection to align with the tastes of your target demographic while staying true to your artistic identity.

    6. Stay Authentic: Choose genres that authentically represent your music and artistic vision. Avoid selecting genres solely based on trends or commercial viability if they don't align with your creative direction.

    7. Flexibility: Be open to evolving and exploring new genres as your musical style develops. Your genre preferences may change over time as you gain experience and experiment with different musical influences.

    8. Seek Feedback: Share your music with trusted friends, fellow musicians, or industry professionals and ask for their feedback on the genre selection. External perspectives can provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions.

    9. Market Research: Conduct market research to understand the demand and competition within different genres. Identify niche genres or emerging trends that offer opportunities for growth and visibility.

    10. Consistency: Once you've chosen your genres, maintain consistency in your branding, marketing efforts, and musical output. Establishing a clear and recognizable identity within your chosen genres can help you build a loyal fan base and stand out in the crowded music industry.

    Remember, genre selection is a personal and subjective decision that should reflect your artistic vision and goals as a musician. Trust your instincts, stay true to yourself, and embrace the journey of exploring and defining your unique musical identity.

  • Unveiling Africa's Melodic Treasures: The Evolution of A&R in the Continent's Vibrant Music Industry

    A&R, which stands for Artist and Repertoire, is a crucial aspect of the music industry responsible for scouting and nurturing talent, as well as overseeing the artistic development of artists signed to a record label. In Africa, the role of A&R has been evolving with the growth of the continent's music industry and its increasing recognition on the global stage.

    Here are some key points about A&R in Africa:


    • Diverse Music Scene: Africa boasts a rich and diverse music scene with a wide range of genres, including Afrobeat, Afrobeats, Highlife, Juju, Bongo Flava, Gqom, and many more. A&R professionals in Africa need to have a deep understanding of these genres and the cultural contexts from which they emerge.


    • Emerging Talent: African countries are home to numerous talented artists who are gaining international acclaim. A&R professionals play a vital role in discovering these emerging talents, nurturing their careers, and connecting them with opportunities both locally and globally.


    • Local and Global Reach: A&R professionals in Africa often work with both local and international artists. They scout for talent within their respective countries and also keep an eye on global trends to identify artists who have the potential to appeal to a wider audience.


    • Cultural Sensitivity: Understanding the cultural nuances and dynamics of different regions within Africa is essential for effective A&R. A&R professionals need to be sensitive to cultural differences and be able to navigate the complexities of the local music industries.


    • Collaborations and Partnerships: A&R in Africa often involves fostering collaborations and partnerships between artists, producers, songwriters, and other industry stakeholders. These collaborations not only help artists grow creatively but also expand their reach and exposure.


    • Digital Platforms and Streaming: With the rise of digital platforms and streaming services, A&R professionals in Africa utilize these platforms to discover new talent, track trends, and promote artists. They also work closely with artists to develop strategies for maximizing their presence on these platforms.


    • Challenges and Opportunities: While the African music industry has seen significant growth in recent years, it still faces challenges such as piracy, inadequate infrastructure, and limited access to funding. However, there are also numerous opportunities for growth, particularly with the increasing interest in African music from global audiences and the growing investment in the continent's music industry.


    Overall, A&R in Africa plays a vital role in shaping the music landscape and supporting the careers of talented artists across the continent. With its rich cultural heritage and diverse musical traditions, Africa continues to be a source of inspiration and innovation in the global music industry.

  • 411 On How to Spot Fake Spotify Playlists


    Fake playlisting refers to the practice of creating or promoting playlists on music streaming platforms, such as Spotify, with the intention of manipulating the streaming numbers or promoting certain tracks or artists through fraudulent means. These playlists may contain unrelated or low-quality tracks, and their creators often employ tactics to artificially inflate the playlist's follower count or engagement metrics. Fake playlisting can undermine the integrity of the music streaming ecosystem by misleading listeners, distorting popularity metrics, and unfairly influencing algorithms that determine music promotion and discovery. As a result, detecting and combating fake playlisting practices is essential for maintaining transparency and fairness within the music industry.

    Detecting fake Spotify playlists can be challenging but here are some tips to help you identify them:


    Check the Curator:

    Look at the profile of the playlist curator. Legitimate playlists often have a clear and credible curator with a history of creating playlists or an established presence on Spotify.


     Playlist Description:

    Legitimate playlists usually have informative descriptions, including details about the curator, the theme of the playlist, or any other relevant information. Fake playlists may have vague or nonsensical descriptions.


    Followers and Engagement:

    Legitimate playlists often have a significant number of followers and receive regular engagement in terms of likes, shares, and comments. Fake playlists may have a low number of followers or suspicious engagement patterns.


    Track Quality and Consistency:

    Legitimate playlists typically maintain a certain level of quality and consistency in their track selection. Fake playlists may contain random or unrelated tracks that don't fit the playlist theme.


    Spotify Verification:

    Some curators may have a verification badge on their profile, indicating that they are verified by Spotify as genuine creators. However, not all legitimate curators are verified, so this should not be the sole criteria for determining authenticity.


    External Links and Promotions:

    Be cautious of playlists that contain numerous external links or promotions. Legitimate playlists usually focus on curating music rather than promoting external content.


    Spelling and Grammar:

    Pay attention to the spelling and grammar used in the playlist title, description, and track titles. Poorly written content could be a sign of a fake playlist.


    By considering these factors and exercising caution, you can increase your chances of identifying fake Spotify playlists and enjoying genuine music content.