A month or two ago, we heard about a band called Vulfpeck that gamed the Spotify system by releasing an album called Sleepify. The catch was that the album consisted of nothing but silence. The Los Angeles-based band asked listeners to play the album repeatedly while they slept so they could afford money to go on tour. According to the math, they could have made about $5.88/person per night for each person that did that. It doesn’t take a genius to see that it could quickly add up. The best part about it was that it was perfectly legal.
We say “was” perfectly legal because you can no longer listen to Sleepify. Spotify has taken Vulfpeck’s album down, following a request to the band to remove it for a terms-of-service violation. Billboard.biz spoke to keyboardist Jack Stratton, who said the streaming service initially sent a friendly email to the band offering assistance, which was followed up by the request to take the album down. Then Spotify pulled it down themselves. The band has responded by releasing a three-track album called Official Statement, which is a mostly spoken-word track about the removal request, a 31-second silent track, and a keyboard instrumental. The band hasn’t toured yet, since they’re waiting for Spotify to pay them. Based on what the band’s gotten from previous payments and the 5.4 million streams they’ve gotten from their non-album, Stratton estimates that the band will make about $30,000 at the end of the day. Not to mention, get written about by the likes of Billboard and Metal Insider.