Fake it ‘till you make it. It’s a catchphrase eternally associated with showbiz. And it’s now being pinned to the tech world. Specifically, the market-leading streaming service Spotify, which has been accused of paying producers to create songs under dodgy pseudonyms.

According to a feature published by Vulture, Spotify has been filling its playlists with fake artists — or “coverbots and ripoff artists” — which saves the subscription platform cash that would otherwise be funneled to genuine music makers. It’s a claim which opens up a whole new skirmish in the creative industry’s battle to close the “value gap.”

The article delves into how Spotify’s platform is gamed by others for a buck, and how Spotify is playing its own tricky game. By placing these fake tracks in popular playlists, the streamer “tricks listeners into thinking the artists actually exist and limits the opportunities for real music-makers to make money.” The real loser in all this is the listener, the writer notes.

The Swedish-originated business, which boasts more than 100 million active daily users and is enthusiastically supported by the industry, has yet to comment.

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