There has been lots of chatter in numerous years about whether Spotify and other streaming services actually help or hurt musicians. Spotify, in particular, has taken flak for reportedly pinching royalties, but that didn’t stop one band from attempting to find a loophole.
Vulfpeck, a Los Angeles-based band, created Sleepify, an entirely silent record that they then asked fans to stream throughout the night while they slept, in the hopes of squeezing the most out of Spotify’s $.007 for each play. According to Vice, the plan was more than a little successful. Vulfpeck garnered $20,000 in royalties from the album, which will be put toward the band’s next tour, allowing all the shows to be free. While Vulfpeck’s fans are certainly tickled by the venture, Spotify is not.
The streaming giant did admit the ploy was “clever and funny,” according to band member Jack Stratton, but ultimately they asked the group to remove the album, claiming it violates Spotify’s terms of content. The band has not had all of their music removed, however, though some earlier reports suggested that. In fact, fans were made aware of Spotify’s request by a new album posted by the band titled Official Statement, in which Stratton confirms the news via a spoken word track, followed aptly by a 31 second “song” of complete silence.
No word yet as to whether Spotify will adjust its terms to keep ventures like Vulfpeck’s from happening in the future, but if one band was able to find wiggle room, who knows what another clever band might find.