It’s the practice used to make videos seem more popular than they are actually, but after a monumental crack down by YouTube– billions of ‘fake views’ have been wiped clean from the video sharing site- leaving the music industry scorched.
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After carrying out an audit of its viewing figures to counteract artificial watches, ‘Tube’ wiped 1 billion views away from videos released by Universal Music and 850 million from Sony Music, to name just two.
Reports indicate that YouTube believes that the views in question were doctored by hackers working on behalf of record labels, in a bid to inflate revenue generated by ads placed on music videos and the ‘perceived popularity’ of their entertainers. This, prompting the company to explain:
“This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our view count policy”.
So who suffered the most?
Well, following the dramatic slash, Leona Lewis lost a shocking 24 million views while ‘Unapologetic‘ star Rihanna and ‘Va Va Voom’ Rapper Nicki Minaj also suffered significant losses. Losses, that amount to over two million page views combined.
This will undoubtedly throw a number of ‘VEVO’ records held by a number of Pop staples into disrepute, if the practice of view doctoring is as wide spread as believed. Records, held by the likes of Rihanna‘s 2012 effort ‘Where Have You Been‘.