I have been teaching music in one form of another on the Internet since 1997. In those long years I have seen scams come and I have seen scams go. The web is a lot like a never-ending gold rush with one fool after another trying to win the lottery with viral content.
I have been on YouTube since 2006. As I write this, I have well over 1000 videos, 4,483,739 views and 16,791 subscribers. This is not counting the workshops that have been deleted from the platform or the huge number of workshops that I created before 2006.
If those numbers seem low to you, it is probably because you have visited a channel that is either insanely popular or been exposed to a content creator who buys traffic.
Buying traffic is based on the illogical stunt of salting your case with money before going out busking. The thinking is that like attracts like. If people think you are making money they will assume you are good and pitch in.
That never really works, by the way. Busking is hard to do well. It’s not just putting your case out and hoping for change. You have to work the crowd.
I know of a few YouTube music instructors who are using services to create the illusion of success. The New York Times wrote a clear article on the trend back in 2018. Once you know what to look for, it starts to get easy to spot.
Last night, I received an email from one of these services. I am not interested in fake views any more than I am interested in fitting in or being clutched to the sweaty and hairy moobs of the banjo community – but I thought you all would get a kick out of the price list:
OFFER!!! OFFER!!! OFFER!!! (100% REAL & ORGANIC) Instagram followers: 10000+ for 100$ 50000+ for 450$ 100000+ for 850$ Youtube views: 5000+ for 30$ 10000+ for 60$ 500000+ for 280$ Youtube subscriber: 1000 for 80$ 2000 for 150$ 5000 for 350$ Spotify listeners: 5000 for 25$ 10000 for 50$ 50000 for 250$ Instagram live steaming views, Soundcloud, twitter, facebook and other social services are available.
Who would have thought honor sells so cheaply?
And people wonder why I hate the Internet…