Should You Ever Pay To Get Exposure?

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When you see an artist topping the charts, you automatically assume that they got there legitimately, right? Their music must be pretty good and you’d expect them to have a substantial fanbase? Wrong!

The technological age has provided new ways for artists to achieve the top spots in online music charts and they’re being attained unethically, by paying someone else to buy hundreds of copies of their work. Exposure usually leads to a massive boost in sales for an artist, so it is no secret why this is happening, the question is rather: should you ever pay for exposure?

An example of this was outlined nicely on Your EDM when a user of the site PeopleperHour attempted to employ a freelancer to purchase hundreds of copies of his song on Beatport. The result of these sales would inevitably drive up the songs rankings on Beatport, therefore tricking EDM fans into believing that the artist is far more popular than he actually is. The economics of the offer on PeoplePerHour are hardly attractive, given that Beatport would require a different credit card, user account and IP address for each download/purchase of the track in question, let alone the usual £1.52 cost of a download in its early release phase. So either the offer is a massive troll or there are people out there who can bypass Beatport’s controls much more easily than we’d care to imagine.

If sales are not coming from the artists fans, then they lack validity. You may have heard fans complain about the artists at the top of the charts, well it’s possible that they could have got there by chart rigging too.

Every new musician wants to gain exposure and become a success, but this should be done through music marketing, industry networking and talent. Instead of trying to drive up sales and gain exposure illegitimately, artists should be working on converting people who hear and actually like their music into becoming long-term fans, a far more sustainable way of achieving success.

The problem that develops as chart rigging occurs more frequently, is that online music charts become less trusted, which is bad news for those artists who deserve to be on top. Beatport and other online music chart operators need to become more regulated by creating various technical measures to prevent manipulation. Whilst many of these sites claim to already have steadfast measures in place, is enough being done to eliminate music chart rigging?

Music chart rigging is not a new thing. In fact, it has become such a problem over the years that governments around the globe have started to step in and regulate those who run music charts in an effort to curb manipulation of the rankings.

This is not the sort of attention that EDM fans and artists want or need, and in the end it hurts the dedicated producers and artists whose livelihood hangs in the balance with every attack on their beloved industry.

Cailyn Cox

Cailyn Cox is a 24-year-old freelance writer who used to love hardcore rock music, until she joined JustGo and discovered the vast umbrella covering the EDM scene.

She loves everything loud and fast and her words are guaranteed to get your heart beating at a140 beats per minute.