German courts have forced five German websites to temporarily stop offering streams on music streaming services. These streams allow musicians to get more money and promotion. The German association for the music industry BVMI has started the lawsuits.
These are the websites socialnow.de, socialgeiz.de, likergeiz.de, netlikes.de and likesandmore.de. Some of these sites refer to themselves as social media marketing sites. They offer a certain number of streams on music streaming services for a fee. For example, via socialgeiz.de it is possible to buy 750 Spotify playback streams for 5.75 euros.
Spotify and other music streaming services pay musicians and record labels based on streams. However, the number of streams also affects how musicians are promoted on a platform. For example, Spotify has certain Made For You playlists, which are automatically generated by the platform based on the popularity of a song, among other things. So if a song suddenly gets more streams, the platform may think it is a potentially popular song and the platform can promote it among its users. In this way, purchasing a manipulation package could ensure that you as a musician get more streams.
The German Bundesverband Musikindustrie is against the manipulation of the streaming figures and therefore went to various German regional courts. The judges ruled that the websites should stop unlawfully selling the streams for the time being. The BVMI writes that a sixth site, fanexplosion.de, has stopped offering the streams after a summons from the BVMI. The BVMI calls the practices of these websites unfair and says they tarnish the credibility of the streams. The association works together with the international music organization IFPI to take action against these streams.