Last August, Music Business Worldwide reported that Spotify placed its own music tracks into curated playlists as a way to avoid paying royalty fees on tracks the streaming company does not own. The site's sources claimed that the tracks — typically jazz, chill and mellow piano music — appear on Spotify under the names of artists who don't actually exist.
Last week, Vulture brought the issue back into the spotlight, calling out two acts, Deep Watch and Enno Aare, as "fake artists" with millions of streams to their credit. Spotify denied the allegations in a statement given to Billboard a couple of days later. "We do not and have never created 'fake' artists and put them on Spotify playlists," a Spotify spokesperson told Billboard in an email. "Categorically untrue, full stop." Music Business Worldwide has jumped back into the fray to counter Spotify's rebuttal with a new post detailing its logic as well as listing 50 artists it feels aren't real.