YouTube slashes view counts for music industry heavyweights
In a surprising move, YouTube has slashed “fake” view counts for a wide variety of companies — most notably around 2 billion for Sony and Universal Music Group channels. What does this mean? YouTube, now the number one place on the internet for music videos, is an incredibly important media outlet for artists, record labels, and music-related corporations around the globe. It’s widely known that hackers can be paid to artificially increase likes or views on specific videos (a tactic called “black hat”), making them more popular and therefore gaining infinitely more exposure, ad revenue — you name it.
This has always violated YouTube’s terms of service, but only recently did we see the Google-owned mega-company widely enforce such regulations. Universal lost a reported total of one billion views and Sony followed a close second with up to 850 million views docked from their count. Although sources came out blaming the dramatic cuts on housekeeping efforts and cross-channel migrations, YouTube resolutely announced “this was not a bug or a security breach” but rather “an enforcement of [their] viewcount policy.” It’s not clear whether or not there is a direct link between the black hatters and the music industry.
via Daily Mail