A Journal of Musical ThingsThis Could Turn Into Some Kind of Scandal: YouTube Catches the Record Industry Lying » A Journal of Musical Things
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Published on December 29th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

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This Could Turn Into Some Kind of Scandal: YouTube Catches the Record Industry Lying

There is money to be made in allowing videos to run on YouTube.  Just look at all the ads that either run as pre-rolls or as lower-third banners on most videos.  The more views a video has, the more ad impressions. The more ad impressions, the more the people responsible for the video make.

Naturally, it’s in the interests of record labels, publishers and anyone else with a stake in copyrighted material for there to be as many views as possible of their videos.  More views equals a bigger cut of ad revenues.

This week, though, YouTube says they caught the industry trying to pull a fast one.  

According to various reports, YouTube deleted more than 2 billion views that they determined to be fake.  They made this call once they found out that labels were using “view building” services to create videos that never existed.

This practice, carried out by third parties, inflated the indicated number of views the labels were getting on YouTube.  But no one viewed anything.  They were fake.

Google confirmed that this violates YouTube’s terms of service.  Universal lost a billion views.  Sony/BMG was hacked from 850 million down to just 2.3 million.

You can’t game Google.  Don’t even try.  They know everything.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.



3 Responses to This Could Turn Into Some Kind of Scandal: YouTube Catches the Record Industry Lying

  1. Matt says:

    This is pathetic. I'm guessing they also do this with Twitter accounts.

  2. Swanee says:

    What? You mean the "poor me" victims of file sharing are criminals themselves? Who'd have thought! (Tongue firmly planted in cheek). You reap what you sow.

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