Record labels scam on Instagram

Today I was told record labels buy a shit ton of followers and engagement on Instagram for their artists for the look. They call it social proof. Then they hack hashtags, explore page, and use influencers to push artist to real people and since they given the artist the social proof and made them look like a big deal people will follow them and check out their music. What do you guys think? Also how true do you think it is?


I think it’s very true :slight_smile: I have seen this before as I am in the music industry. They even buy followers for their artists.


Yea my bad I was speaking on the artist. I probably worded that bad. So the question now is how are they hacking the explore page I thought it was changed to fit people personal taste

I’m sure with deep enough pockets people at Instagram could be convinced their artists fit the personal taste of most people

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I’ve “heard” that the music industry inflates “up-and-coming” artists to make it seem like they are blowing up without publicly being with a label yet.

(but they already did)

So they do both inflate the numbers before they are signed and when they are signed they do it again.

I’m guessing managers and the artist team inflate the numbers and once they get the attention and sign to a record label. The label inflate the numbers again

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It wouldn’t be hard either. If the label has some big names behind them it only takes a few powerlikes from multi-million user accounts to explode a new up and comer into the explore area for a lot of people.

You just found this out mate? Or just learned what social proof was? This has been going on way before IG with other platforms.


Theres 100 million fake bots on IG. Don’t be surprised


I knew what social proof was of course I didn’t know they where hacking the explore page and hashtags. I think they have deep pockets at IG to do that. I knew the about the inflating numbers since 2013 VEVO scandal


Spotify, you name it. There is a lot at stake!

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I don’t think they tell artist either but I was told I need to do this today if I ever plan on stepping into the record label business (I work in publishing and some marketing in music) I usually only do organic methods not inflate the numbers

My bad for deleting that I had some spelling errors but I know for a fact they use powerlikes and just pay those little hiphop media pages for promo. Tbh these label marketing guys don’t know that much about Instagram and are just finessing their bosses with fake numbers

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I seen that video of like 10k phones connected to a network that stream songs on spotify for record labels so I knew that was going on as way.

But also times are changing snd labels are starting to back off signing artist just off of social
Proof because they are starting to see how that game is playing out for them. For example you have lil pump with 15 million followers that can’t sellout an arena on his own


I’ve worked at a two major labels, and have been in music PR for about 12 years now. So I’ve had to deal with a lot of them in my time, and I can say I’ve never seen a label do this. They have gone out of their way to check fake engagement.

I’ve just seen labels buy and pay ungodly sums of money for shout outs, and make industry plants, but never buy fakes or use automation.

PR firms, that’s another story. This does happen very often. Especially with fake youtube views and engagement.


So from your experience labels don’t do it but PR firms do?

I can’t speak for hip hop and EDM focused labels. I’ve had next to no experience with working with them. But I’ve worked with every type of genre from rock, to labels that focus solely on Tibetan throat singing and have never seen nor heard of it going on.

But it’s rampant in PR.

Yeah we were talking about hip hop and in hiphop they do this big time. I was even at this round table event with one of the owners of rolling loud (the biggest hiphop festival in the world and even he was going on about labels boosting numbers and they definitely pay crazy sums for shoutouts like you said. Right now rap labels are paying this 12 year old kid 6 figures for Instagram videos

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