Whether or not anyone wants to admit to it, fake plays are becoming a constant in mainstream music. Those that have budgets have the power to control social media, and therefore, the ability to control the flow of content. Money and smarts go a long way, and mastery of both allows complete command of the market and the fans that come with it. And while SoundCloud has become the most important platform for today's music industry, sites like BuySoundCloud.com and Cloud-Dominator.com are advertising themselves as services where aspiring artists can purchase plays, follows, and favorites on this popular platform, thus boosting their visibility and market potential. Or, to quote Cloud-Dominator's sales pitch: "Imagine greatly increasing your exposure - This could lead to freeing up precious studio time, DJ bookings, record signings & the reputation you are striving to achieve - Take Action Today!"
With so many services out there using a variety of increasingly clever methods to boost SoundCloud numbers, it's difficult to grasp what's actually real. And while we've spent time and effort investigating individuals and platforms that might be swaying the system, we've completely overlooked how much influence SoundCloud has over their users, and underestimated their ability to control user activity on their own platform. We've seen countless examples of artists and labels who have suspiciously high stats, and went as far as sending emails to Caked Up and their management with questions about buying results. We reached out with screenshots that showed suspicious users servicing their account, and we were met with unwavering denial of any wrongdoing.