YouTube is cleaning house. According to The DailyDot, Google recently removed more than 2 billion views from YouTube channels run by Sony/BMG, RCA Records, and Universal Music Group.
Statistics at SocialBlade verify the channel’s catastrophic blow showing Sony/BMG losing 851,488,973 views, leaving it with around 2.3 million total views. Universal Music Group also lost over 1 billion views on Tuesday while RCA Records had 159,533,904 views removed from their channel.
SocialBlade explains the reasoning for tremendous drop in numbers writing, “Negative numbers occur when YouTube audits the view counts.”
This means that at the end of the year, upon reviewing Universal, RCA, and Sony’s channels, the video-sharing site found many of their views to be the product of foul play.
At the YTtalk forum, users are also reporting a drop in their views as one member writes, “I lost 286,034 total video views yesterday.”
YouTube seems to be performing a massive security overhaul as one user at SEO tampering site BlackHatWorld writes, “YouTube Changed the game???” “The game” is the process of generating either automated views or views gained from third party websites.
YouTube explained their method of view regulation earlier this year in a post at the YouTube Creators blog:
“Services that attempt to gain views through automated means or that force or trick viewers into watching videos are not ok.” The video-sharing site also added, “Videos and accounts that are found to be in violation of our terms may be closed down and removed from YouTube.”
As of right now, Sony Music Entertainment’s official YouTube channel is empty of all videos except one, a Bob Dylan trailer.
It’s unclear how far Google’s scrub of YouTube will go. While the tech giants seem to be targeting music providers aggressively, YouTube’s biggest music partner VEVO was only moderately hit by the clean up. On Tuesday, the official VEVO channel only lost 218,164 views.
We reached out to YouTube who has still yet to officially comment on the recent security shakedown.