YouTube has cracked down on phony views, recently stripping three major record companies who were in question of view manipulation. The labels were Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, and RCA Records where YouTube removed more than 2 billion fake views.
The Daily Dot reports that Universal Music’s artists took the biggest hit, losing one billion of its seven billion views. This means the channels for artists such as will.i.am and Nicki Minaj took major losses in their view counts. Sony/BMG and RCA also lost 850 million and 159 million views as well.
Furthermore, each label’s YouTube page now boasts a thin selection of videos. UMG only has five videos on its channel, while the number of videos on Sony’s page is currently empty.
Labels aren’t the only ones being singled out, as other notable channels belonging to Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Beyonce and Avril Lavigne received slashes in views. Interestingly, more than 500 well-known YouTube channels have been stripped of fake views in the past 30 days.
However, artists who are associated with VEVO—which is co-owned by Sony, Universal and Abu Dhabi Media—did not suffer any losses in the crackdown. According to YouTube statistical aggregator SocialBlade, major artists such as Eminem, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber were unaffected.
The Daily Dot received a response from Universal who acknowledged the sudden drop in views:
The Universal Music Group channel, though popular, has been mostly dormant since the company shifted its focus to individual channels hosted on Vevo, which Universal founded in conjunction with Sony Music, Abu Dhabi Media Company, and E1 Entertainment in 2009.