It's a great day!
Way back in 2012, Universal and other major companies were caught in a scandal buying billions of fake streams for their YouTube accounts. It was only discovered when YouTube changed their algorithm to curb the 'black-hat' technique of paying for fake plays. Even after Universal was caught with their hand in the cookie jar, news media, like Clevver, still covered for them with reports claiming that Universal was 'only moving their videos to their VEVO platform', and YouTube was simply doing 'housekeeping'.
Well it looks like the needle has been moved a little bit further. Because now it seems that Spotify is following Youtube in the pursuit of Bot-blasting. According to Rolling Stone, Spotify, Amazon, Sony, Warner, Universal and other major players in the music business are joining forces to battle the evil empire of Stream Manipulation. Once they Implement their new changes, people who have been gaming the system by buying likes and plays will no longer be able to benefit from these practices. So while we may witness the further clamping down of Big Business over Spotify, blocking out the little man once again, we may also get to witness a great purge of click-farms, bot-merchants, playlister curators and other kinds of cheaters who game the system with dubious streaming practices.
Maybe this is a great day for who simply want to build true relationships with their music will have a fighting chance here. I've watched media companies blow up with ridiculous engagement and numbers, but always walked away scratching my head wondering how they were able to make such an impact with little money and in such a short amount of time. Call me skeptical, but I'm pretty sure a lot of the people that I've seen rocketing into the stratosphere are about to slow their progress significantly once it's exposed that they were buying plays and likes the whole time. They will no longer be able to rely on stream manipulation strategies to make their money, and further raise their profiles.
I think it'll be a good thing to see plays and engagement brought back down to a reasonable level. It may even drive the value of music streams upward. I think that it will definitely help build artists' confidence in their abilities once they see that they can make a living by pulling realistic numbers, instead of comparing themselves to their competitors with ridiculously inflated numbers. I'm sure that it sounds like I'm glad to see the world burn, but it's quite the opposite. I want to see the playing field leveled so that fair remains fair.
I want to see justice for the artist.