Did people hack Spotify to benefit Cannabis Club ATL? Did it affect your year-end stats?
Earlier this year I had to change my Spotify password two different times. The first time was to stop my Spotify from acting crazy. The second was because Spotify forced me to, after saying my account may have been compromised. The second time may have been related to the first, even though I had already changed it, but what do I mean by “acting crazy?” I mean that songs I didn’t choose just started playing. Songs I did choose would stop or skip. Playlists I never saw before would be playing and I realized, after it was fixed, that my account was suddenly and still subscribed to many of those playlists. To make matters worse, I have Spotify connected to Sonos speakers, so music would just start suddenly playing out of the speakers. My wife wasn’t amused when she, at first, assumed I decided to just start blaring hip hop in the bedroom while she was sleeping.
Searching Google for a solution led me to the Spotify forums where I learned I was definitely not alone. Lots of people were having the same issues. Various solutions were suggested, but ultimately the one that stopped it was changing my password. It wasn’t immediately obvious, but I quickly realized that my account was probably being controlled by a hacker. This seemed even more likely when Spotify later forced me to change my password again.
Shit happens. Life moves on, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of those shenanigans when Spotify today — as part of their yearly Wrapped feature — claimed that my “favorite artist” of 2018 was one I’ve definitely never listened to (actual screen shot above). No offense to Cannabis Club ATL, but I am positive I listened to Camp Cope this year more than anything else (they were in fact #2 on the list that Spotify spit out, which unfortunately was also compromised by my dog whose “relaxing dog music” playlist also really messed up my stats).
It took me a minute to figure out why the weed loving Atlanta hip hop group was showing up in my Spotify’s “2018 Wrapped,” but I quickly realized it was probably related to that hack. Curious, I again took to Google, and it turns out I was not the only one whose hacker has a thing for Cannabis:
I’m not a Spotify expert, but I do know that music can only be streamed from one device at a time. If I was a hacker who stole a Spotify password for personal use, why would I play the music out of the actual account owner’s speakers? And if the actual hackers were giving the account information away to people interested in using Spotify for free, what are the chances that all of those people wanted to hear Cannabis Club ATL? It obviously seems more likely that either Cannabis Club ATL just happened to be a favorite of a hacker whose goal was to cause chaos, or that in fact there was some motivation to get a specific artist’s play count up. I realize there is controversy surrounding how much money an artist actually makes from streaming, but it seems safe to assume that Cannabis Club ATL made more money than they would have this year thanks to me and my hacker.
Has this happened to you? What artist? Let us know in the comments!
UPDATE: Uproxx editor Bill DiFilippo reveals that the same thing happened to him (Cannabis Club included).