Artificial streaming is an issue affecting the digital music industry and the hard work of artists who make real efforts to create and connect with their fan base. This fraudulent practice is usually offered as promotional services which promise to get you a determinate number of streams according to the price you pay (the more you pay the more streams you get) or to get your release into a playlist whit a certain number of followers. This far away from taking your music to new ears makes you waste your time and money and can put at risk your music and your career.
There is no secret formula to get a big number of streams overnight so when a third party offers this you need to consider if you will spend your money using a service working through streaming manipulation that does not get your music to people but to bots, scripts, or programmes developed with the sole purpose of farming the digital stores playing tracks and playlists from fake accounts repeatedly which the most common (but not the only) form of stream fraud.
Why avoid it:
Stream fraud is in the end fraud which is illegal since every stream monetizes and every fake click makes lose money from artists who invests properly in their music and their marketing. This is a misuse of the platforms and technology provided by the stores and distributors which can get your music taken down from all DSPs as well as a temporal or definitive limitation of the distribution services. and will seriously affect the income you may generate from your music on these platforms. There are even precedents of lawsuits from major stores addressing this offense.
How to avoid it:
There are many ways to detect these irregularities starting with checking on your stats on tools like Spotify for Artists and the Analytics Indiefy provides you. You can see there who and where is listening to your music so you can create content and campaigns that will connect with real fans.
Do not pay for any service which asks for any kind of remuneration in exchange for a playlist placement and investigate every marketing service you are working with.
For more information please take a look at this idea made by Spotify: