Which artists deceive their figures?
Lucas Jackson via Reuters
In 2021, 1-3 billion fake broadcasts were recorded. (Illustrative photo)
MUSIC – This is the first study of its kind in the world for music streaming. Between 1% and 3% of online listening is fake, according to data for 2021 released in France on January 16 by the Center National de Music (CNM), which oversees the sector.
This is a real plague. In “By artificially increasing the volume of consumption of one or more titles, we increase the fame and economic value of a project or artist”As denounced by the Association of Independent French Phonographic Producers in early December 2022.
According to data from streaming platforms (Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify) and distributors (Universal, Sony, Warner, Believe and Wagram), CNM has identified between 1 and 3 billion streams in France in 2021. ” at least “was false, i.e. between 1% and 3% of total games.
He is “It is certain that the reality of spurious flows goes beyond what is detected, it is impossible to come up with an exact figure, because they are not included in the detection area”, developing Jean-Philippe Thiellay, president of CNM. several key players in the sector such as Amazon Music, Apple Music and YouTube declined to share their data.
In addition, some “The figures of more than 3% spread in the media are not based on any established and proven data, which does not allow us to contradict them.”adds the manager.
How does this work?
As explained by some experts, it is investigated by service providers who present proposals for artificial increase of streams. To illustrate this phenomenon, France Inter received an email with prices from a company promising streaming. “100% French”who doesn’t “not bots [des auditeurs virtuels] but real people listen to your songs”.
qualifies as “click farms”these fraudulent businesses have dozens of networked computers to manage titles on fake accounts with expired or stolen credit cards. Parisian, who also has access to CNM research. According to France Inter, the listed prices are as follows: “€129 for a package of 10,000 to 20,000 streams, €1,039 for 100,000 to 150,000 streams and €6,499 for over a million streams”.
It applies to all genres of music. But the vast majority of streams detected on Spotify come from hip-hop and rap. ” This it makes a lot of sense as these are the most listened to genres (more than 50% of the top 10,000 on Spotify and 40% on Deezer)”, notes CNM. That being said, cheating on Deezer is proportionally more important in pop, electro, rock Parisian.
However, “compared to the total number of listens to hip-hop/rap songs, these fake streams only make up a very small percentage, 0.4% on Spotify and 0.7% on Deezer”. Fake broadcasts are not found among the most listened artists. Fraud mostly occurs outside of the 10,000 most streamed titles on Spotify and Deezer.
The bulk of the sin lies in recreational and religious music. “This is not so surprising, since it is easier to add fake music to mood playlists than to repertoires of well-known artists”CNM’s Director of Research and Foresight, Séverine Morin, reports again in the columns of the article. Parisian. It can be seen at 4.8% on Deezer.
Why is this a problem?
In the current music streaming revenue sharing system – a common pot divided in favor of the most listened to – a “who exaggerates listening numbers, takes a share of all who don’t cheat”Analyzes CNM.
Indeed, in addition to undermining public confidence in this sector, it is also a threat to the streaming economy. If these increases in listenership are not followed by increases in subscriptions, the cost of broadcasting and artist compensation may decrease.
Fighting this fraud means falling into a trap: “in most cases, the sponsor behind the request to manipulate streams will rarely be identified and can be identified”, hosts the National Music Center. The competent authority for this a “Interprofessional Charter on Preventing and Combating Manipulation of Online Auditions”. A new study will be conducted in 2024.
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