Fake Followers: A Case Study

If you’re on SoundCloud, you’re probably wondering how some SoundCloud users have so many fans, especially when they’re music isn’t all that great. NEWSFLASH: they’re probably buying FAKE followers. In our opinion, this is the dirty little secret plaguing the EDM world, because it seems like everyone is doing it.

Don’t believe us? We did an audit of eight (8) popular SoundCloud users to determine whether they used fake followers or not.
We analyzed their most recent 500 followers (as of today, December 2nd 2014); these were our findings.

SoundCloud Followers Audit
SoundCloud Artist % of Followers With No Picture % of Followers With 2 Or Less Followers Themselves % of Followers With "username########"
Mad Decent 54.40% 90.40% 39.20%
Zedd 38.00% 89.20% 35.20%
Dillion Francis 44.40% 88.40% 26.80%
Diplo 46.00% 74.80% 27.60%
Flux Pavillion 36.40% 84.40% 20.40%
RL Grime 40.40% 52.80% 15.20%
CAKED UP 34.40% 57.60% 16.00%
Bro Safari 30.80% 37.60% 9.20%

Pretty shocking results, wouldn’t you say? Given these statistics, how many would you say are fake?
Compare and contrast them with your own followers list and you’ll see the obvious discrepancy.

It doesn’t take a genius to spot fake followers – whoever is creating these accounts en masse doesn’t really care about quality / making them look realistic. Most of them have weird, unintelligible usernames (or no name at all, just the default ‘user########’). A large portion of them have foreign names, usually Spanish/Portuguese or Eastern European. They usually have very few, if any followers themselves. Their pictures usually don’t match the username, or they don’t bother putting a picture at all and just keep the default sign-up images. In short, they look like shit.

Take a look at the picture below, a snapshot of recent followers of Dillon Francis.


How many of these look real to you? Out of 15, or only or two are potentially real. My guess? They’re all fake.
Compare those fake followers to the REAL followers of an random up-and-coming DJ from California.

SoundCloud Followers

See the difference? All these followers accounts looks REAL – they have names that match their pictures, and they have followers.

Many SoundCloud users who have a lot of fake followers also have good music – so why have they resorted to buying them?
The answer is social proof. Instead of letting their music speak for itself, they hope to influence you into liking them by showing this huge number of followers. Because if everyone else likes them, you should probably like them too, right? It’s a bogus marketing tactic and is actually a bit insulting to assume you’re that easily influenced by the masses (of bots).

As an up-and-coming artist, DJ or music producer, it must be tempting to want to buy fake followers, especially after seeing that top-level EDM acts are doing it. Our advice? Don’t do it. Pretty much everyone can tell when you artificially inflate your stats, and it hurts your credibility. If you want to increase your followers, sign up for a service like SC SuperFans that will actually grow your following organically. You want REAL followers; real users who will share your music to other REAL people.

This fake follower bullshit is played out and needs to stop.