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Music industry targets troll farms distorting streaming revenues

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Music industry targets troll farms distorting streaming revenues

Postby MrFredPFL » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:42 pm

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A music industry hit parade including Spotify, Amazon and Universal is moving to stifle an emerging threat to the sector’s business model: fake streams.

Digital streaming has revived an industry battered by the illegal download explosion early in the dotcom era, generating tens of billions of dollars for record labels. But a growing army of online bots posing as human listeners is distorting the distribution of these revenues, inflating listening figures for certain tracks to earn higher royalty payments and chart placings.

A coalition of 21 technology groups, record labels and music publishers on Thursday agreed a “code of best practices”, in the first collective push by the biggest players in music to combat stream manipulation.

The group, which also includes Warner Music and Sony Music, warned that “industrial-scale” impersonation of users by “troll farms” was distorting perceptions of what music is popular, according to the document seen by the Financial Times, and vowed to thwart such manipulation by weeding out the bots from the music fans. 

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