If you’re a big Spotify listener, you might have stumbled upon some of Matt Farley’s songs — maybe one about Radiohead, or prom dates or poop.
Using 60 different monikers and band names, Farley has released about 14,000 short, ridiculous and often-improvised songs on Spotify and iTunes about everything from sports teams to birthdays, earning himself $US23,000 in the last year, a BDCwire story reveals.
Basically, Farley is spamming these services. He is flooding the market with so many songs containing popular keywords that other users eventually find them and listen. And by listening, they are making Farley money.
He has songs called “Amanda Knox Is Not Guilty,” “Mike Daisey, Why You Gotta Tell Lies To Ira Glass?” and “Music Writer Mark Richardson Blocked Me On Twitter.”
Here’s a lyrical selection from his Amanda Knox ballad: “Everyone knows that the Italian police are buffoons / They see someone from another country and assume that they are criminals / Amanda Knox would never hurt anybody, she is perfect in every way.”
It costs Farley $US50 per album that he releases, but he jam-packs each album with up to 100 songs (the iTunes-imposed limit) so as to up his chances to make that money back. He says that 90% of his albums have earned more than their $US50 cost. One of his techniques is to take a simple formula, like a birthday song, and sub in hundreds of different names.
“I did a series of prom songs. A ‘________, Will You Go to the Prom with Me?’ song for 500 different girl names,” Farley told BDCwire. “I named the band ‘How To Ask a Girl to the Prom,’ with the album titles being ‘Play This Song For Her Vol. 1-5.’ But I was told that online music stores don’t like band names that describe the music so plainly. So I renamed them The Prom Song Singers.”
He told reporter Ryan Walsh that recording those types of songs is “not fun at all,” but that they’re the kind of thing that are most likely to bring in bucks when random people get excited to find songs containing their own name.
But the the truth about Farley? For all his thousands of pointless, jokey, spam songs, he also has more than 100 completely earnest compositions released from his serious band, Moes Haven. And maybe those songs will catch on one day and become popular enough for Farley to make his living. But, for now, he’ll just keep on making money off the birthday songs.