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Youtube has stripped over 2 billion view counts recently on videos from Youtube channels belonging to three major record labels: Sony/BMG, Universal Music and RCA Records.
According to The Daily Dot, Google underwent a massive cleanup in December, retracting billions of views some believe to be generated by suspect view count-building techniques used by third-party companies to falsify popularity on YouTube.
While it’s unclear if the major record labels enlisted this technique, the official Youtube channels of all three companies lost massive amounts of views. Universal Music Group suffered the biggest drop when their channel lost over a billion views on its own from its previous total of over 7 billion. Sony/BMG and RCA lost 850 million and 159 million views, respectively.
Additionally, a slew of videos have been removed as well. UMG’s channel had just five at press time. The views retraction affected more than 500 different official artist channels as well, including channels for Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, and others.
UMG has acknowledged its dip in views, and cited its shift to publishing videos on VEVO as the reason why its YouTube channel had been downsized.