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Brazilian stream manipulation services go offline after industry action

By | Published on Thursday 8 October 2020

Music Applications

The record industry’s battle against stream manipulation continues. A number of sites that offer sneaky services of that kind in Brazil have been targeted by local trade body Pro-Música Brasil and global grouping the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry.

Stream manipulation, of course, is when companies create artificial plays for tracks on the streaming platforms boosting the overall play count. Such activity can help make artists and tracks look more popular than they really are and – because of the way streaming income is shared out each month – the stream scammers and their clients can get more money out of the system than they put in.

The record industry in Germany has previously secured a number of injunctions against websites based there that offer stream manipulation services. And now the Brazilian industry has targeted stream manipulation set-ups in its country, resulting in a number of companies ceasing to offer that service.

Pro-Música Brasil worked with the country’s anti-piracy body APDIF and local police to target one key player in stream manipulation called TurboSocial. As a result of that action, it has now removed stream manipulation services from its main site and a number of affiliated sites.

Meanwhile, six other services have stopped all their stream manipulation operations after receiving cease and desist letters, and a seventh has voluntarily done the same.

The boss of IFPI, Frances Moore, confirming the action, stated: “Brazil’s vibrant and streaming-led music market is providing increasingly exciting and diverse opportunities for its artists and fans to share and enjoy music. Streaming manipulation must not be allowed to undermine these developments by depriving creators of revenue and misleading consumers”.

“These actions demonstrate the global recording industry’s continuing commitment to fighting back against this practice, which harms the entire music ecosystem”, she went on. “We commend the police and Pro-Música Brasil for their work and cooperation on this positive outcome”.

Over at Pro-Música Brasil, Director Paulo Rosa added: “These are positive developments for Brazil’s music community and the first time we have seen successful action against streaming manipulation sites in the country. We would like to thank the police for their work and cooperation on these cases. Streaming manipulation diverts revenues away from artists and damages the credibility of digital platforms and charts. For the industry in Brazil to truly combat this practice we need the full cooperation of the entire music ecosystem, from labels to streaming services, to law enforcement”.