In their ongoing efforts to combat view count manipulators, YouTube has stripped major labels of more than two billion views across various channels. In addition, the online video juggernaut has taken down videos that are in violation of the site’s terms of service regarding view manipulation. The labels adversely affected by the view raid included Universal, Sony/BMG, and RCA.
The apparent crackdown hit Universal hardest, leading to the loss of a whopping one billion views (or approximately one “Gangnam Style”) as well as thinning the channel’s collection of videos. Sony’s channel (which lost 850 million views) currently boasts no videos.
As the Daily Dot reports, these labels are not the only ones being singled out:
“More than 500 prominent YouTube channels have been stripped of preexisting YouTube views in the past 30 days, something that causes concern when you consider that YouTube views counts, unlike subscriber statistics, are cumulative and cannot organically drop at any point throughout their existence.”
Interestingly, it seems that many artists associated with VEVO–the growing video service co-owned Sony, Universal, and Abu Dhabi Media–were unaffected by the crackdown, as major artists such as Eminem, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber sport clean records according to YouTube statistical aggregator SocialBlade.
The effects of YouTube parent company Google’s efforts to clean up their system extend beyond the labels, as an entire secondary market exists for those who sell their services as view count manipulators. In an era when the common perception of labels is largely negative, this sort of occurrence only helps to further fuel derision. Positively, however, it may help, in the long run, to create a more accurate picture of which artists are truly capturing the free time of YouTube goers.
Fake YouTube rappers: You have been warned!
Check out a gallery below of the labels and artists most affected by YouTube’s sweeping action.