YouTube has removed false video views with Sony and Universal Music losing more than 2 billion views as a result.
More than one billion views were taken from Universal artists and 850 million from Sony acts with Leona Lewis losing 24 million views overnight.
YouTube has decided to police views after it became more common with the fake views to artificially inflate the perceived popularity of certain artists. The company claims that bots are used to inflate YouTube views making artists appear to be more successful than they really were.
YouTube has removed statistics it considered “deliberately, artificially inflated” but that does mean the labels were directly responsible for the inflated figures.
Part of the reason for the decline in figures is because labels, especially Sony an Universal, have been moving their videos away from YouTube and onto Vevo. Both Sony and Universal have a major stake in Vevo and make more revenue when videos are played via Vevo instead of the Google owned YouTube.
Artists affected by the reduction in views include Justin Bieber, will.i.am, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Beyonce.