Silent Tracks Earn Indie Band $20,000 In Royalties

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Vulfpeck uploaded an album on Spotify which contained 30-second silent tracks. Spotify pays a fraction of a penny each time a song is played. The site now says the album violates its terms of content.


And today's last word in business is: silence is golden.

An indie band in Michigan recently made an odd request of its fans.


The band Vulfpeck uploaded an album on the Spotify music site called "Sleepify." It contained 30-second tracks of silence. They encourage fans to keep playing the silence while they sleep. This is meant to earn royalties. Spotify pays a fraction of a penny each time a song is played, and the same apparently, with hitting play on silence.

INSKEEP: So it was an album of nothing. The scheme worked. The band made $20,000 in royalties, enough to finance a tour with free admission for fans.

MONTAGNE: But the streaming service asked the band remove the album, claiming that it violates Spotify's terms of content.

INSKEEP: Apparently, meaning that the content is actually supposed to contain content.

Breaking the silence daily, it's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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