STOCKHOLM—In an effort to crack down on “bad actors” manipulating their algorithm, streaming giant Spotify announced plans Tuesday to stop paying artists for the time in songs when they aren’t singing. “We’ve finally decided to take action against the countless musicians who have scammed this service by just playing a guitar or piano for minutes on end,” said spokesperson Shanon Cook, adding that artists would not be compensated for non-verbal forms of communication such as humming, whistling, and hand clapping. “Frankly, vocalists have had it too good for too long on our platform. From here on out, you’ll need to be singing for a minimum of three-quarters of a song if you expect to be paid. We’re also going to come down hard on made-up lyrics like ‘ba-da-da-da’ or just repeating the word ‘yeah.’ And don’t even think about sneaking a vocal on an instrumental track, you won’t see a crumb.” At press time, Spotify announced plans to require artists to pay a fee to upload music tracks onto the service.
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