Youtube has been cracking down on violations in its mysterious, but highly cited view count policy and the biggest channel to suffer? Universal Music.
It turns out that a lot of the views on the company’s music videos have been due to hacker activity. One of the biggest names to suffer was Leona Lewis, who got bumped down by 24 million hits. The fake views total over two billion, reports The Daily Mail, with Universal losing about a billion and Sony Music going down by 850 million views. That’s a whole lot of illegitimate hits.
The crackdown was so harsh, that Universal was left with just five videos on the site, none of which were music, and Sony had a mere three videos. It’s going to be difficult to recover from a blow like that, but Youtube’s view policies are very strict, as the site tries to do right by its multiple ad partners – the main source of profit.
"This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy," a YouTube spokesperson announced. Meanwhile, Universal reps claimed that the loss of views was not due to the cleanup, but rather, to their videos being hosted on rival sites, such as Vevo. We’re not sure how that works either.