How many BTS albums are on Spotify

Fans take advantage of Spotify This is how the BTS Army manipulates the charts

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The super fans of the South Korean boy band Bangtan Boys, or BTS for short, have manipulated the Billboard charts with countless fake streaming accounts - and that's not that difficult.

From: Nina Lenz

Status: 09/19/2018 | archive

What One Direction, Take That, the Backstreet Boys and * NSYNC have in common: Super fans who feel like they would do anything for their idols. They buy the music, the merch and travel from show to show. The BTS Army, the huge fans of the Bangtan Boys, have now taken this passion to the extreme. The goal: to get your favorite band into the charts. A placement in the American Billboard charts is a kind of accolade for a South Korean band. Their trick was actually pretty simple: The BTS Army set up thousands of fake accounts on streaming platforms - especially on Spotify - and then streamed the music from BTS in a loop. The fan love was far from over: The millions of fans, who are extremely well networked around the world, distributed these Spotify accounts all over the world. And even invited people to stream together. The action is still going on.

The result: The last BTS singles really rose to number 1 on the Billboard charts.

Streaming affects the charts

In contrast to buying an album or radio plays, streaming platforms have the advantage that we as listeners can exert direct influence. A stream doesn't cost us anything, we only pay for the subscription. The streaming figures have been included in the calculation of the charts since 2012 - also in Germany, by the way. And have a massive impact on the hit lists.

Spotify has of course already noticed that some accounts are being manipulated. However, the group reacts rather vaguely to our demand:

"We take the artificial manipulation of streaming numbers on our platform extremely seriously. Spotify uses several detection measures that detect consumption on the platform, track it and deal with such activities. We will continue to invest heavily in measures to improve the detection methods and distance. The aim is to reduce the impact of such unacceptable activities on the benefit of artists, rights holders and our users. "

- Spotify

To put it more simply: it is almost impossible for Spotify to recognize manipulation as such. Perhaps at the other end there is really a huge fan who listens to his favorite songs non-stop.

The Spotify guidelines only state: 'It is not permitted to artificially increase plays or otherwise manipulate the service through automated processes.' So it is actually not allowed what the BTS Army has done and, by the way, is still doing. But it's always clever.

The fact is: the charts can definitely be manipulated by streaming in large quantities. Also in Germany. And it's not unlikely that the same will happen with greats like Drake or Beyoncé. But it is also a fact that it is not in itself reprehensible to support your favorite artist wherever possible. Where does fan love end and where does the fake begin? There were super fans in the past - only Spotify didn't exist back then.