Spotify puts Vulfpeck’s ‘Sleepify’ album to bed, cites violation in terms of service

Spotify tips

It’s a very tricky thing for artists to make money in the music industry these days. And trying to cash in on the extremely low-profit genre of streaming services such as Spotify, which pay artists a pittance for every song streamed, is even more difficult. But Vulfpeck, a band hailing from Michigan, came up with an ingenious way to use Spotify to fund its latest tour by convincing fans to constantly stream a completely silent album called Sleepify. And although Spotify recently pulled the album, the plan totally worked.

In a hipster-esque call-to-arms that’s rife with understated humor, Vulfpeck’s bandleader, Jack Straton, described the clever ploy to fans via a video blog preceding Sleepify’s March release. In order to put on a free tour, Straton asked fans to cue up the band’s 10-song silent album every night before bed. At $.005 per play, he proposed that the band could make $4 per night from every fan, as their devices whisper through the tracks of dead air. And as a clever incentive to participate, Vulfpeck’s forthcoming tour is set to be centered around cities in which fans played the album the most.

Spotify requested Vulfpeck take down the album after nearly a month saying it violated its terms of content, but the band reportedly made around $20,000 before Sleepify was pulled. In a recent interview with the UK’s You Need To Hear This, Straton filled in the blanks about how things went down.

“I think they panicked when they realised someone was actually making money from the music,” Straton said. “I haven’t heard of any (copycat albums) yet but in the email asking us to take it down, (Spotify) said they were receiving similar silent submissions.”

Vulfpeck has gotten a lot of publicity for the little ruse, and expects to go on tour for free as planned, as long as Spotify pays out the money. Straton said it takes around two months to get paid, so the band should see the check sometime this month.

The notion of putting out the “sounds of silence,” so to speak, is nothing new. Composers and music historians will be familiar with John Cage’s famous “4’33,” which consists of an ensemble sitting before an audience in complete silence for, you guessed it, four minutes and thirty-three seconds. However, while Cage’s “piece” was billed as an introspective auditory experience of the audience’s own uncomfortable fidgeting, Vulfpeck’s “recording” is based around a decidedly more common theme in modern music: broke musicians.

We highly recommend checking out the original video below to get a taste of Jack Straton’s deadpan-humor-turned-brilliant-media-blitz for yourself.

Wearables

To be blunt, the Vuzix Blade smartglasses just don’t cut it

We tried out the Vuzix Blade to find out if it’s worth shelling out $1,000 for smartglasses. Are these augmented reality, Android-powered glasses really ready for primetime or just an expensive gimmick that no one really needs?
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Gaming

Feel the love this Valentine’s Day with these 12 romantic video games

In celebration of Valentine's Day, we take a look at games that offer heartfelt romances. From the Mass Effect series to Stardew Valley, each of these romantic video games offers a layered depiction of love and relationships.
Wearables

Nomad’s metal Apple Watch straps are strong and classy but come at a price

Nomad is known for building high-quality, premium Apple Watch straps, and now the company is back with its first metal Apple Watch bands. The new Nomad Titanium bands are classy and strong, but they come at a price.
Cars

All U.S. 2020 Toyotas will have a trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio

This fall, with the introduction of the 2020 model year vehicles, all Toyotas sold in the continental U.S. will include SiriusXM satellite radio installed with a three-month trial subscription of SiriusXM All Access.
Gaming

Where to catch the encore of Marshmello's Fortnite concert if you missed it

EDM star DJ Marshmello performed a different sort of concert today: one held live in-game in Fortnite. The concert was held in Pleasant Park, where the usual football field was transformed into a stage and a massive dance party broke out.
Mobile

Schubert left Symphony No. 8 unfinished. A smartphone’s A.I. just completed it

We all know computers can be used to make music, but can artificial intelligence be used to not only generate music, but complete one of the most famous unfinished symphonies of all time? Huawei has used its A.I. to find out.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Music

Spotify could terminate accounts of listeners using ad blockers

Bad news for those who block annoying ads on Spotify -- the company has updated its Terms of Service to explicitly ban ad blockers. Consequences for users found circumventing the rules include suspending or terminating your account.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Music

Donald Glover is (somehow) first rapper to win a Grammy for Song Of The Year

Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) has become the first hip-hop artist to win Song Of The Year, an award that had illuded countless other popular rap artists for decades.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Music

The 25 best love songs on Spotify for your wooing pleasure

Valentine's Day comes but once a year, but love is forever. If you're hoping to impress your significant other -- or if you're trying to procure one -- we put together a list of the best love songs for your wooing pleasure.