Subscribers to the ad-free Spotify Premium plan have been issued refunds, claiming playlist promotions for Drake’s new album count as adverts.
Drake’s “Scorpion” album broke streaming music records on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon during the day of its release.
It was also extremely heavily promoted, to the point that several Spotify users began demanding refunds for the company over hyping the US rapper.
— Spotify (@Spotify) June 29, 2018
Subscribers pay £9.99 per month to avoid adverts, but the ‘Drake Spam’ across nearly all curated playlists seemed to circumvent their preferences.
On Reddit, user Jakebirdseye complained that, according to their count, less than half of the playlists featuring Drake on the playlist cover actually contained the artist’s songs. “I’m not ripping on how bad Spotify is, but rather I am trying to make notice of the fact that this could be a very bad trend if it continues, allowing already hugely famous artists to take over the playlists that we love and the community we love on Spotify,” wrote Jakebirdseye.
That also means some playlists feature Drake songs when they should not have Drake songs.
Variety confirmed this detail, reporting that Drake “is on the cover of RapCaviar, Beast Mode, Today’s Top Hits, Morning Commute and [other playlists]—including ones where his music isn’t even featured.”
There is a not so thin limit between (native) advertising and curation, and you crossed it 🙁
I enjoy Spotify's curation and pay to not get advertising, not the other way around. pic.twitter.com/6RGsKgwp1C
— Ellypse (@EllypseCelwe) July 1, 2018
However, the aggressive promotional tactics seem to have worked for Spotify and Drake.
Scorpion went platinum on its release day in the States (selling and streaming a million copies cumulatively) and broke Spotify’s record for most global streams for an album in one day – tallying 130 million total plays on its June 29 release date.