If you happen to notice your Spotify activity window flooded with plays of Vulfpeck’s latest album “Sleepify,” it is not because of how good the songs are -- as a matter of fact, the 10-song set is absolutely silent. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based funk troupe is using Spotify’s royalty-payment system to fund (and even plot the course of) its upcoming Sleepify Tour.
As band leader Jack Stratton explains in the promo video announcing the crowd-sourced scheme, Vulfpeck plans to go on a tour where every show will be free to the public. To achieve that goal, they are asking fans to stream the silent “Sleepify” album on repeat while they sleep in order to multiply the less-than-a-cent average royalty rate Spotify pays per song play exponentially. Understanding that a song needs to be listened to for at least 30 seconds to register as a play, the tracks on “Sleepify” -- cleverly titled “Z” through “Zzzzzzzzzz” -- are all 31 or 32 seconds long.