Music labels, streaming services, more endorse code of conduct to fight stream manipulation

  • TECH
  • Friday, 21 Jun 2019

The streaming sector, which includes subscription fees and advertising income, grew by 34% to reach US$8.9bil (RM36.30bil) in 2018. — AFP Relaxnews

LOS ANGELES: It's safe to assume that as soon as the music industry established streaming charts, people were trying to game them. 

In fact, at a panel during A2IM's Indie Week on June 18, one panelist stated that 3%-4% of all officially counted music audio and video streams are not legitimate. 

On that note, a coalition of artiste organisations – 24 major companies and organisations, including major and independent labels, publishers and digital service providers – today announced their support of a new "Code of Best Practices" aimed at preventing and detecting stream manipulation, as well as mitigating against its effects in the marketplace. 

Variety has been contacted by some but not all of the involved parties, who confirmed their participation; Variety has also obtained a copy of an internal memo issued by Sony Music earlier this month outlining similar policies. 

The announcement states, "For the first time, nearly the entire industry is coming together to get ahead of this issue and stop illegitimate activity – to declare a healthy music economy is an accurate music market. And most importantly, coming together to agree on the importance of stopping plays on streaming services that do not represent genuine listening." 

The full Code can be found here.

Below is the full list of coalition members:
American Association of Independent Music
Artist Rights Alliance
Concord Music Publishing
International Artist Organisation
International Confederation of Music Publishers
International Federation of Musicians
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
Independent Music Publishers International Forum
Kobalt Music Publishing
National Music Publishers Association
Recording Academy
Recording Industry Association of America
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony Music Entertainment
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Publishing Group
Warner Music Group – Variety/Reuters

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