The report comes from Swedish news outlet Svenska Dagbladet, with a story whose headline translated reads “Spotify has become an ATM for criminals.” How, you ask? Allegedly, gangs use the money they make from their other criminal endeavours to pay for fraudulent Spotify streams of tracks that they own or have an interest in, then banking the payouts – Spotify essentially ‘cleans’ the money for them and it would be virtually untraceable internally. "Spotify has become a bank machine for the gangs. There’s a direct link to the gangs and the deadly violence," one police officer told Svenska Dagbladet, while accusing Spotify of not taking the problem seriously enough.
Spotify has denied that, calling fraudulent streams "an industry-wide challenge and Spotify has been working hard to address this issue." It added that "less than one percent of all streams on Spotify have been determined to be artificial and those are promptly mitigated prior to any payouts.” Pretty fascinating but this all just reinforces calls for Spotify to be far more transparent on fake streams and their internal accounting to artists. Read the full report here