Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments?

Image via Cole Plante on Facebook
Image via Cole Plante on Facebook

We try to point out fakery in the industry as much as we possibly can. And when I see a lot of plays on an incredibly average record from a producer that doesn’t have a following, it raises a flag. We can usually track the source. There’s almost always a reason, and it’s almost never organic.  And all seems normal on Cole Plante’s new collaborative single with Myon & Shane 54, until you do a bit of poking around.  Let me explain how all of this works.

You need a song with a lot of plays to add to a press kit, because it’s part of the package you need in order to be considered valuable to promoters.  There’s a few ways to go about getting those plays.  You can make a great record that will blow up organically.  You can pay a PR firm to blast your record to websites (Cole did this, which is the only reason this tune was on my radar).  You can align with a big website for a premiere and hope that smaller sites pick up your record, but those sites are looking to premiere music from artists with a following.  So the next move is to pay for plays on Soundcloud.  

But to trick the system, you can’t just have a lot of plays.  You need a string of likes and reposts to match, and to ensure that nothing looks fishy. The uneducated fan will say “oh shit people like this, let me like it too” and some plays will come naturally, but it’s all a ploy to boost numbers in order to increase market value.  Let’s take a peek at a few screenshots to see how this works:

01 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 02 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 03 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 04 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 05 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 06 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 07 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 08 Comments Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments?

All eight of these screenshots are filled with individuals that made positive comments on Cole Plante’s record. Almost all of the comments on this tune were left within a 24-hour period. And if you take a peek, almost none of these accounts are followed by or following anyone. They’re fake. It gets more interesting from here:

09 Reposts Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 10 Reposts Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 11 Likes Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 12 Likes Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments?

Here we see the same exact accounts liking and reposting his tunes in the same exact order. And if this were the end of the coincidence, there wouldn’t be much to speak about. But there is a string of more than 90 comments from fake accounts that liked and reposted Cole’s record, and those fake accounts liked, reposted, and commented on OTHER records in the same exact order. We got bored of taking screenshots of the same exact results, but a few profiles are below:

13 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 14 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 15 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 16 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 17 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 18 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 19 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 20 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments? 21 Profiles Why Is Cole Plante Buying SoundCloud Likes, Plays, and Comments?

Cole Plante just signed to Disney and WME, is making decent records, looks the part, and has a team behind him that needs to fluff his numbers to make him seem relevant. His product wasn’t being picked up naturally, so someone paid to create results in an effort to speed up his success.  We’re not sure who is at fault here, but someone on his team is. Whether it was Cole’s call, the decision of one of his handlers, or a collaborative move, someone paid a fee to seem more relevant than he acutally is.

Now there are a few reasons why this matters. The most important is that our system of likes, plays, and followers is the only thing that our market is based off of. You can’t get onto a booking agency without those numbers. No matter how great your music is, you won’t play shows without those numbers. You need a big single, a certain number of followers, and a certain look. A lot of this can be manufactured.

This also matters as SoundCloud looks to change the aim of their company. They look to quietly be ramping up to make a shift of some sort, as they just snagged an extra $60 million in funding from venture capitalists a few weeks ago.  They certainly have the ability to track and delete bots, and blacklist accounts that continuously use them.  But they’re not, and we’re really curious why.

We applauded 5 Magazine’s investigative research last April in uncovering a similar story last April, but that was 10 months ago.  The article was humongous, and was backlinked on a ton of websites.  How has SoundCloud not figured out how to track and delete these false accounts?  If I can figure out what’s happening, certainly an algorithm could alert them to shady activity? How many other times has this happened?  What other musicians and songs have completely fake results?

The bottom line here, though, is that fans should care.  DJs are gaining popularity and getting booked for shows on the back of a completely false credentials.  And we don’t know how deep this goes.  The 43,000 people that liked Cole Plante’s page aren’t very engaged, are they?   And while this musician may quietly and quickly become the name that kids chanted at their next festival, it’s more about marketing and manufactured traffic than his music.

Oh, and “If I Fall” came out on Beatport today.  You can cop that right here.

  • Jesse Slayter

    I have those numbers and I don’t even get booked lol

    • Finesse

      fakes too? :)

    • Koko

      Nobody cares Jesse…

    • Jameson Goner

      and that sucks cuz you a good producer!

  • Regreal

    Good post. Now please don’t erase it when his pr/management/label hits you up like you’ve done before.

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      lol comedy

  • JayKode

    Great read and great research. People need to be more aware of these issues. Most people are blind to all of this nowadays and it’s getting worse. Sucks for the artists that are actually trying and putting in work too.

  • TK

    I would say the “system” is broke, and he is just playing the current game. If promoters are booking parties based on these numbers let em lose money, and make room for promoters with integrity, booking artists not “pr schemes”. But props to him I hope he re coupes his investment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bitflipdj Bit Flip

      Well put…

    • Nicholas James Concklin

      Problem is that booking with integrity often results in breaking even at best. Kids dont want to put any work in to discover music on their own, so they listen to the fluffed shit and then promoters book the fluffed shit and make bank.

  • caballo

    3- Numbers One of the biggest problems any underground label, blog, or musician faces is the social prejudice and definition of success.

    There are several bloggers who keep trying to sell the idea of THIS IS THE NEW SH*T, or even WE RUN THIS SH*T NOW!
    There is an impressive amount of producers who drop their albums in exchange of Facebook LIKES or Twitter Followers.
    There are quite a few ‘shady companies’ who use bots and random people, to boots your plays on SC, youtube, spotify.

    Why?
    because most of the people define something is good even before
    clicking if it has lots of comments, likes, shares, or whoever makes the
    song is ‘relevant’.

    But those numbers do not mean anything, they can be reset to zero by a human mistake, by a hacker, by an algorithm mistake, and then what? I DO believe it is really exciting to see all those comments, shares & likes in one’s work.

    But
    if you do your music, your posts, your craft, your art, with the
    ambition of getting comments, traffic, likes, shares; then your are in
    the music for the wrong reasons.

    well. not ‘wrong’ in the strict sense, let’s say for your own reasons, not for the ‘love’ of doing music.

  • caballo
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  • darylnorthrop

    I’ll think about this when some dude-bro promoter asks me “what’s ur draw, bro?” ZOMG I GOT LIKE 50,000 LIKES ON MY LATEST MIX SO BOOK ME I’M REALLY AWSUM.

  • Diesel Loc

    @coleplante BT hair havin ass nigga

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  • MF

    Just reading this told me the track itself is likely nothing special/crap. Sure enough after listening to the sample, I was right.

  • Maus

    I love this! Gotta talk shit to be the shit. Hopefully this goes viral!

  • Sherby

    that awkward moment when most of the people who commented were actually trying to find a site to do this. :p

  • Rockan0n

    4 months late to this party but WTH I’ll comment anyway… Been at making tunes for over 20 years and figured out my songs either wrong time, wrong era, or it’s all in who you know or luck. Don’t give up like I almost did, keep creating and toss the losers from your gig and replace them, network like a pro and keep plugging!

  • Kenneth Wagner

    Nothing new in people buying fame. Where would Bieber be today if he had not bought all these Youtube views!! The only way to make a name of yourself is to promote your work, 20 years ago artists were paying radio DJ to play there music, today they are buying youtube views and Soundcloud plays from sites like this: http://www.socialshop.co/soundcloud/buy-soundcloud-plays