A prominent Germany-based stream manipulation service called SP-Onlinepromotion has closed down following legal action by record industry trade groups.
Although streaming fraud is a multi-layered problem, a lot of stream manipulation is undertaken by companies that publicly promote their services, offering to boost the number of plays of any one track for a set fee.
Therefore, as part of the music industry's bid to combat streaming fraud, legal action has been taken against a number of those service providers, especially in Germany and Brazil. Commercially manipulating streams definitely breaches the terms of service of each streaming platform, but may also violate computer abuse and misuse laws.
The legal action against SP-Onlinepromotion was led by German record industry trade group BVMI and global industry organisation IFPI.
“This is an issue that the whole music industry must continue to take action to prevent", says IFPI CEO Frances Moore. "We are pursuing further targets and this most recent success in Germany serves to demonstrate how we are committed to addressing the issue globally".
BVMI boss Florian Drücke adds that stream manipulators “jeopardise the accuracy of royalty payments and call the credibility of the charts into question. As is well known, we have therefore been consistently and successfully taking legal action against unfair business practices impacting the market for several years and we will keep on doing so".