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FAKE BANDS, REAL JOB

Want to get into the music business and work with artists who may or may not be “real”? Have we got a job for you.

Epidemic Sound, the Stockholm-based production music company that Music Business Worldwide identified as being behind a “swathe of these fictitious performers” on Spotify, is looking for a Music Sales Development Rep in New York.

Founded in 2009, Epidemic Sound specialized in the library business: Supply royalty-free pre-recorded music to broadcasters, production companies, ad agencies, brands and other companies that have a need to license music. They have expanded beyond Stockholm and now have offices in Amsterdam, Madrid, Hamburg, Los Angeles and New York.

Epidemic has a roster of composers with fan bases that can be easily found via a Google search—MBW singled out Tonie Green, Sigimund, Julius Aston and Grobert—though an assortment of its artists exist in name only, Greg Barley, Lo Mimieux, Amity Cadet, Benny Treskow and others, MBW noted.

Library music serves a distinct purpose in advertising, TV and film, though by and large individual tracks have not been sold to the general public. Its an easy and cost-effective way to score a show—cable series and reality shows love them—but by entering the streaming marketplace, they end up with a claim to a piece of the financial pie.

When real artists are angling for their percentages of pennies is it morally correct for them to be battling fictitious enterprises? We’re not talking The Archies here—these are songs being positioned as new and original and suitable for Spotify’s playlists. And when payday comes, the Epidemic “artists” have cut into the amount actual recording artists receive.

It isn’t exactly pocket change here: MBW reports “almost every single fake artist we’ve identified—and we’re way above 50 now—has attracted millions of streams via playlist inclusion.”

While surveying Spotify’s Deep Sleep playlist, we noticed a few acts—Alan Ellis and Deep Inside—among the likes of Brian Eno, Oscar-nominated composer Johann Johannsson and Olafur Arnalds that have no presence online beyond these tracks. There’s no evidence they’re connected to Epidemic, but it’s probably the safest playlist to be on. The listeners, theoretically, are passed out. 

 

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