Music Industry Rips Down Multiple ‘Fake Stream’ Sites In Brazil

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo Credit: Agustín Diaz

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has announced that multiple ‘fake stream’ sites based out of Brazil have ceased offering artificial plays.

In an email sent to Digital Music News, IFPI officials detailed their successful effort to stop the platforms from selling fake streams and otherwise attempting to manipulate streaming services. Working closely with Pro-Música Brasil (its Brazilian affiliate), Pro-Música Brasil’s APDIF anti-piracy organization, and local police, the IFPI says that it managed to eliminate the presence of fake stream sales on the domestically popular TurboSocial and six of its affiliates.

Additionally, TurboSocial’s owner “has agreed to refrain from re-starting any music streaming manipulation services in the future,” per the IFPI.

The IFPI issued cease-and-desist demands, which prompted six websites to nix their own artificial-play services. An unnamed seventh site “voluntarily” moved away from streaming manipulation, presumably because of the pressure that other entities faced. Significantly, Pro-Música Brasil Director Paulo Rosa emphasized that this happening marks the first “successful action” against streaming manipulators in his home country.

These high-profile takedowns are the latest in a long-running series of IFPI moves to reduce the prevalence of fake stream sites.

In March, DMN was first to report that a German court had issued an injunction against, which had long been considered one of Europe’s foremost streaming manipulators. And in late August, German courts followed the move by issuing five additional injunctions, targeting the nation’s other well-established fake stream producers.

More broadly, fake streams – which one indie label estimated cost artists a staggering $300 million per year – have also been front and center in multiple lawsuits and investigations to this point in 2020.

In June, we reported that Jay-Z’s TIDAL streaming service was officially being investigated by Norwegian authorities, following a 2018 accusation that Kanye West’s Life of Pablo and Beyoncé’s Lemonade (which were initially TIDAL exclusives) had been padded with north of 320 million fake streams.

July saw Spotify double down on fake stream allegations against indie label Sosa Entertainment, accusing its founder of hiring a “bot farmer” to create accounts and rack up plays. Before uncovering the alleged plot, Spotify says it “inadvertently paid out tens of thousands of dollars in royalties.”  And in August, Mumbai police subjected rapper Badshah to a three-day-long interrogation, questioning him for allegedly paying for fake streams. Previously, the Sony Music India musician’s “Paagal” track controversially garnered 75 million views in its first 24 hours on YouTube.

2 Responses

  1. Johnny

    The whole music business is FAKE. Always has been, always will be until somebody figures out a way for quality music to be given a chance to be played on the radio again without some Corporation interfering and screwing up the numbers. So much cheating goes on and the public has no clue how the industry is run. And now VIEWS on Youtube are FAKE but the quality of music is about the last thing on the minds of corporate executives when they promote and buy the success of new artists who have next to no talent but look great and dance well and are all under thirty years old! How come all the musicians over the age of thirty suddenly lose the ability to write great music? Have you noticed how artists over the age of thirty disappear magically into thin air and who lose the ability to be successful with age? Many older artists actually write and record their best music as they get older but NO RADIO STATION will play their music without getting PAID! I have personally seen how this whole FAKE music business works and things need to change. So much great music is not making on to radio stations and so the charts are fake. And no artist on an Indie label can compete in this FAKE business. And so wonder why artists on the major labels are always the ones in the charts! And the fans continue to buy whatever is spoon fed to them on the radio and on the Internet. And the critical thing is the record companies no longer want to spend large amounts of money on new music – and so the cheaper the better is the new standard. Why spend $250,000 on making a new quality album when you can spend $1500 on some guy shouting over a drum loop then market and promote this and the fans will buy it! FAKE rules the airwaves amen!

    • Tom Hendricks

      Yes, and it comes down to the consolidation of hundreds of labels competing in the sixties, to the Big 3 Labels that control the entire music industry either directly or through their parent media owners. They make the music, distribute it, promote It on their own shows and then give themselves great reviews, while blocking out any indie contenders.
      That’s why the music revolution against all this. Join us or star your own!