Thursday, May 08, 2014

Money for nothing: Vulfpeck try to game Spotify

Vulfpeck thought they'd come up with the perfect crime: upload an album featuring ten tracks of silence to Spotify, ask fans to put the album, Sleepify, on repeat overnight, and wait for the royalties to roll in.

It nearly worked, too:

Vulfpeck racked up about $20,000, according to reports. At the half-a-cent per play rate the band says it gets from the service, that's 4 million plays.
Trouble is, Spotify isn't keen on subsidising the sound of silence, and told the band they'd violated the terms of service.

So Sleepify vanished. But Vulfpeck aren't ones to turn away from running a good joke into the ground. CNN:
It bounced back with a new three-track album called "Official Statement."
On the first track, "#Hurt," Keyboardist Jack Stratton spills his guts about the situation.
"The gist of it was that, while they enjoyed 'Sleepify' and thought it was funny and clever, that it violated their terms of content," he said.

"So I don't know what's going to happen with it -- it's very uncertain at the moment. And in light of that uncertainly I want to take 30 seconds silence to ponder the uncertainty."

That ushers in the second track, "#Reflect" -- 31 seconds of silence.
It actually looks like Sleepify outperformed Vulfpeck's more traditional work, which gives an awkward impression that their fans prefer to listen to the band when they're being quiet.