Business News Digital Labels & Publishers Legal

German ‘stream manipulation’ site ordered to shut down

By | Published on Wednesday 4 March 2020

Digital Music

The Berlin District Court has issued an injunction against the operator of a stream manipulation service called, which allows people to pay to artificially boost the plays of music they control or represent on the streaming services. has now been ordered by that court to stop enabling the manipulation of streaming stats, following legal action pursued jointly by global record label trade body IFPI and its German counterpart BVMI.

IFPI chief exec Frances Moore said in a statement: “Those who create music must be remunerated fairly and accurately for their work and investment. Stream manipulation undermines this – whether by undermining the accuracy of charts, royalty payments to music creators or otherwise – and cannot be tolerated”.

“Streaming platforms need to find a robust technical solution to this issue”, she continues. “For our part, we are prepared to take legal action against these sites, as shown by this action in Germany, and we will continue to do so wherever necessary worldwide”.

BVMI CEO Florian Drücke added: “We took this action as part of our commitment to protect the legitimate legal market for music and to hinder any fraudulent services seeking to undermine it. This should be seen as a signal to other manipulation services that we are prepared to take action against them”.

There has been manipulation of the music industry’s popularity measures for as long as there have been measures of popularity, of course. The difference with the manipulation of streaming stats is that it not only falsely boosts the perceived popularity and royalty payments of the artist whose plays are increased, but – due to the way streaming money is shared out each month – it also reduces the income of everyone else.

Last summer, a load of record labels, music publishers, industry trade bodies and streaming services signed up to a new code of conduct, basically agreeing that scamming streaming stats is bad and promising not to do it.