Massive YouTube viewership numbers of popular music videos from Chris Brown, Beyonce and others have up and disappeared. Google has purged the views of over 500 channels, including those promoted by record companies and their artists, in what appears to be an attempt to tidy up the counts and clean up subversive view-inflating practices.
While Google’s “de-spamming” process does attempt to catch viewership fraud, there was also a move on the part of Google to evaluate the videos in each channel and subtract the numbers for videos that have been deleted or made unavailable by the channel operator.
As a result, the videos from record labels who have since placed lots of their inventory on artists’ channels or VEVO (in the case of Universal and Sony), have experienced dramatic drops, according to a report from Social Blade.
Universal has lost over 1 billion views in the process; Sony/BMG dropped 850 million; and 859 million views were erased from RCA’s channel.
The artists’ channels took a hit as well. Chris Brown’s YouTube views were docked 187 million; Beyonce’s channel views were minus 151 million; Michael Jackson lost 283 million; and Avril Lavigne lost 124 million.
—E. Parker, CBS Local