CNM has finally published its report on the manipulation of plays on streaming platforms (Spotify, Deezer, etc.). In 2021, between 1 and 3 billion frauds are being played in France… and this figure is underestimated. Five-point encryption.
A year and a half of research, listening to dozens of music players, platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz), record companies (Universal, Sony, Warner), distributors and hundreds, if not thousands of dark numbers to analyze… National Music Center (CNM ) regarding the manipulation of performances on streaming platforms was finally published on Monday, January 16, and it is impossible to say that it was born with pain.
In a music market where 70% of revenue now comes from digital, he aimed to shine a light on cheating rumors and the reality of fake streams. But it was met with reluctance, even silence, from a large number of players, starting with the platforms themselves: YouTube, Apple and Amazon did not want to cooperate with the public entity, unlike Deezer, Qobuz and Spotify, which cooperated. for what constitutes the world’s first independent and public body investigation into the phenomenon of streaming fraud. Here are the five points to keep in mind.
Figures that are both high and surprisingly low
In France, the number of fake broadcasts detected during 2021 varies between 1% and 3%, i.e. between 1 and 3 billion. 1.1% on Spotify, 1.6% on Qobuz and 2.6% on Deezer. Considering that Deezer has been linked to 7% of fake streams to date, it’s a worrying and relatively limited estimate at the same time. But Jean-Philippe Thiellay, head of the CNM, recalled using a certain phrase: “The reality of fake streams goes beyond what has been discovered. » Due to the growth of the streaming market, as well as increasingly diversified and improved methods of manipulation.
Mainly the rap is disturbing
The most significant fraud detected on Deezer is related to background music. On Spotify, it directs more than 90% to French new releases and mostly (85%) to rap. The advantage is due to the massive dominance of the latter in the listening figures. But if we believe the results of CNM, less than 1% of games in rap are manipulated.
Cheats outside the top 10,000
Fraud on Deezer and Spotify is more than 80% at the level of the “long tail”, that is, this ocean of tens of thousands of unknown or emerging artists, trying to buy themselves from the competition and the anonymity of the streaming platforms. flows. There, the numbers are not surprising: nevertheless, the top 10,000, which today make up the bulk of the income of the music industry, will be free from almost any manipulation…
A bleaching mark
Relegating the subject to the level of concern for the time being, CNM nevertheless suggests the possibility of some false currents. “is part of a strategy to launder the proceeds of illegal or even criminal activities.” The process is actually very simple and invisible: dirty money is invested in the purchase of streams and is washed away in the form of listening income and royalties.
A charter of good behavior and follow-up… before tightening the screw?
Faced with legal conditions (fraud, attack on an automated information system, deceptive commercial practice or even unfair competition), the CNM responds measuredly, even unhesitatingly, to the detected evils, which should raise awareness among the public with its charter. music in “Preventing and Combating Manipulation of Online Listening”. But if the platforms did not cooperate in a transparent and continuous manner with the institution that ensured the mobilization of the Ministry of Economy on the file, this report could have constituted the first stage of a more muscular reaction. Tracfin department for money laundering issues. A new study is already planned for 2024.