The practice of artists or their labels purchasing streams of songs in order to make the musician appear to be more popular than they are is one of the most controversial and shadowy pitfalls of the streaming era.
According to Music Business Worldwide, the matter was the focus of an injunction handed down today by the Regional Court of Frankfurt targeting Likeservice24.de — the website will no longer be allowed to sell fake streams of music content or any form of social media engagement connected with the music.
IFPI, the music industry's global lobbying arm, and its German branch BVMI celebrated the injunction. Frances Moore, IFPI's Chief Executive, said: “IFPI and its industry partners remain committed to tackling this harmful practice, which not only deprives artists, songwriters and other rights holders of their rightful compensation but also misleads music fans.”
BVMI Chairman and CEO Dr. Florian Drücke emphasized the responsibility of streaming platforms to stamp out the problem in his own statement. “Whilst we don’t know the specific steps that the streaming services themselves are taking on their platforms to directly prevent this activity, for our part, we are taking legal actions to ensure that the streaming market functions properly and without manipulation, which harms creators and their partners.
"Such manipulation," Drücke continued, "damages both the accuracy of royalty payments to music creators and the credibility of a key industry barometer, the charts. On behalf of music creators and fans alike, we will not accept that.”