Band offers free tour, funded by unique streaming music gambit (UPDATE)

sleepify spotify screenshotUPDATE: Spotify cracked down on this ingenious and entertaining stunt, issuing a takedown notice to Vulfpeck. Predictably, Vulfpeck’s front man, Jack Stratton (see below), responded with another capricious Spotify album (EP, really) called Official Statement.

The three-song playlist offers a spoken summary of Spotify’s takedown request, then a 30-second track of silence, ending with a short musical number.

Checking the Spotify app, we see the original Sleepify album still listed, but its tracks removed — same for the dozens of replicated Sleepify‘s across the service.

Hypebot pointed us to a band called Vulfpeck, which has announced an ingenious way to simultaneously launch a tour, crowdsource its funding, and manipulate its Spotify earnings — all with a dash of humor.

The key to this scheme is a newly “recorded” album called Sleepify, which has ten tracks — each track 30 seconds long, and each one absolutely silent. The band is asking supporters to repeat-stream this magnum opus all night while they sleep. A good night’s sleep (eight hours) would result in 960 track streams. According to Spotify’s average royalty payout per track streams (which can vary depending on licensing and revenue conditions), the band would earn four or five dollars per night, per person. A rabid fan who got with the program every night for a month would generate about $120 for the band.

“Never in the history of music has it been so easy to support a band’s tour.” –Jack Stratton, Vulfpeck

As incentive, Vulfpeck will map its tour schedule to hit locations which create the most streams.

With an appreciation for business plans that blend ingenuity with whimsy, we hope Spotify allows this game to play out.

Here is the explanatory video:

Brad Hill