A new Billboard report says fans have been going to great lengths to push their favorite musicians top of the charts. With social media platforms helping share tactics on how to boost sales, loyal listeners have found creative ways to get their top acts to number one — even gathering donations and spreading them among fans to purchase music.
“There’s no way to tell where the funds originate, even when @JiminFunds tweets ‘we received [an] $18,420 generous donation from Chinese fans,” Elias Leight writes for Billboard. “While there are rules dictating where PACs are allowed to raise cash, there are none governing the use of internationally-raised money for purchases impacting U.S. music charts. Still, using funds from abroad to signal demand domestically makes it hard to accurately judge the popularity of a given track Stateside.”
This organized data manipulation is most obvious in K-pop fandoms. Bernie Cho, president of the artist and label services agency DFSB Kollective, tells Billboard he rates the K-pop stans’ efficacy and precision with that of “an elite military operation.” Streaming growth has been stagnating of late, but Billboard quotes a recent Luminate report as saying these superfans are spending 80 percent more for music, on average, than the everyday U.S. listener, swaying the statistics in favor of their preferred acts.