It is being reported – first by the Daily Dot, then copied by the Daily Mail - that Google has erased two billion view counts on Youtube channels belonging to three major labels, Universal, Sony/BMG and RCA Records.
Universal lost one billion views, a seventh of its total.
Individual artists, such as Beyonce and Avril Lavigne, have also been taken to the cleaners.
How Google came to suspect mass fixing has not been clarified, and no-one has admitted fixing the numbers. At stake is an awful lot of public faith in the accuracy of Google’s calculations and the transparency of the music industry.
Please let us know if you have suffered any adjustment this week to your Youtube channel.
UPDATE: Billboard seems to know what’s going on.