Picture this – you’re super proud of your new song you have finally mastered and released to the major streaming services. You are super proud of your work and want to show it to a friend. Are you allowed to play your own song on Spotify, or will you be flagged for artificially increasing your stats?
Answer – You Can Stream Your Own Music, But It Depends On How…
This might seem like a pretty vague answer, but I can explain. Spotify does not have a problem with users enjoying their own music, it’s pretty normal to check a song sounds like it’s been mixed properly after you have released it. If you have a couple of songs you really like, they might even be in your playlist!
A good example of where this might be a reality is if you are a DJ and want to see how your track blends with other songs of the same genre on Spotify, which helps to make sure it sounds good. So just to be clear – if you occasionally listen to your own music on Spotify, that’s absolutely fine.
Where Spotify will start asking questions, and potentially remove your music altogether is if they decide that you are streaming your music in a way that causes the play counts of songs to artificially increase (see the Spotify Terms and Conditions of Use). When checking the user guidelines section of the terms and conditions, Spotify states:
The following is not permitted for any reason whatsoever in relation to the Services and the material or content made available through the Services, or any part thereof:
artificially increasing play counts or follow counts, artificially promoting Content, or other manipulation including by (i) using any bot, script or other automated process, (ii) providing or accepting any form of compensation (financial or otherwise), or (iii) any other means;Spotify User Guidelines, Section 1 pt 8
So what does this mean in plain English?
1. Spotify Does Not Want You To Loop Your Song 24/7
If it’s obvious that one user is clearly trying to inflate the streams of a specific song, Spotify will likely pick up on it pretty quick. For example, if an artist has only 50 monthly listeners but they have miraculously amassed 30,000 streams in a single month, Spotify is going to immediately detect that this kind of behaviour isn’t normal, and your account (as well as potentially the artist profile) can be banned.
This kind of “listening” to your own song is the kind which I would highly discourage. Please, never do this. It might seem tempting but looping your own songs in the hope of turning a profit is a super bad idea, and definitely not worth it in any form.
2. It Doesn’t Matter If You Use Bots Or Loop Your Songs Manually, Spotify Doesn’t Allow It.
You might have read the quote above and interpreted that as meaning simply that Spotify prohibits bot streams on your music, which is true. It also means, however, that manually using your own account and deliberately looping your own music to inflate the streams is prohibited.
3. Spotify Is Okay With You Listening To Your Own Music Like A Normal Human Would
Don’t stress too much about never streaming your own songs at all on Spotify. It is absolutely fine to play them now and then, in the same way many would argue it’s fine to stream Katy Perry occasionally. Just don’t stick it on loop in an attempt to farm up streams and you should be absolutely fine. In summary, if you play one of your own tracks because you want to show it to a friend, you’ll be fine.
On the other hand, if you loop it 2000 times in a row, it’s pretty hard for anyone at Spotify to see this as “normal” activity, and you stand a super high chance of having the tracks removed, and potentially getting your Spotify account banned.
4. Do NOT Pay For Spotify Streaming Bots!
This is a massive no no. Never attempt to do this. There are a few services that claim that you can buy streams on Spotify, and no doubt there is a reasonable industry around this. I am begging you to not fall to this level, because it can only end in tears. Firstly, the services often cost more than the streaming royalties returned, so it’s a great way to lose money for absolutely no benefit.
Secondly, I would be amazed if Spotify doesn’t have some form of blacklist, effectively shadow banning users who they determine to be abusing the system. Apart from Spotify straight up removing songs from Spotify which they deem to be botted, there isn’t a huge amount of information surrounding this topic. I would assume they have similar policies and measures to YouTube though. Botting Streams / views is a perfect way to never make it in the music world, and no one apart from the bot creators stand to benefit from it in any way.
So Can I Stream My Own Tracks On Spotify?
Yes, just don’t try to bot or loop it to boost your numbers. This is very different to just listening to your own songs now and then.
Conclusion – You Can Listen To Your Songs On Spotify Occasionally, Just Don’t Loop And Inflate The Streams.
In the words of Spotify community contributor “Shuidong“,
why would you want to increase play counts? If you are truly an artist, wouldn’t you want to know if your music truly delivers and reaches your audience? If you yourself increase play counts, you would not be able to see the results of your hard work as easily compared to when you let your audience do the real work of listening to the songs and listening to them more often if they like it.Shuidong, Spotify Community
Well said Shuidong, well said. At the end of the day, we aren’t talking about a “fine line” here really. You’re either listening to a song, or inflating its streams. It is likely pretty obvious which is which, not just to you, but also Spotify.
So now you know all there is to know about streaming your own music on Spotify and the rules around that, why not check out my article on how to make a great affordable home music studio here.