Several big-time recording companies are recovering from the sting of losing millions of YouTube hits as the website did a clean sweep of fake video views on Tuesday. According to The Daily Dot, the number stands at more than 2 billion views erased from videos released by some of the industry’s biggest names.
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The crackdown came after YouTube conducted an audit of its viewing stats to ward off hackers from stacking fake views or “likes” onto videos across different channels, making the visuals seem far more popular.
Universal Music Group– which is home to artists such as Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and more– took the biggest hit with the loss of more than 1 billion views from its preexisting total of 7 billion views. Alicia Keys, Rita Ora and other artists over at Sony/BMG were stripped of approximately 850 million views, while RCA walked away with a slap on the wrist. The company lost a mere 159 million views.
“This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy,” the website announced.
X Factor winner Leona Lewis lost nearly 24 million page views from her official channel, while the channels of Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Chris Brown and others have also suffered substantial hits.