Campaign continues against streaming manipulation services that jeopardise revenues returning to artists
Berlin, 9th October 2022 – IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide, and BVMI, its National Group in Germany, have announced that, following successful legal action, prominent Germany-based streaming manipulation service, SP-Onlinepromotion.com has shut down. The operators of the site are legally bound not to offer manipulation services in the future.
SP-Onlinepromotion.com was a widely used website that engaged in illicit music streaming manipulation services by selling artificial ‘plays’, ‘views’ or ‘streams’ on DSPs that did not represent genuine listening. The practice negatively impacts the fan experience, undermines the accuracy of charts and, ultimately, jeopardises royalty payments from streaming services to music creators.
IFPI Chief Executive, Frances Moore said: “Streaming manipulation has no place in music. The practice constitutes fraud and the perpetrators and enablers of this illegal activity cannot be allowed to divert revenue away from the artists who create the music that is loved by fans and which drives legitimate engagement with streaming services.
“This is an issue that the whole music industry must continue to take action to prevent. We are pursuing further targets and this most recent success in Germany serves to demonstrate how we are committed to addressing the issue globally.”
Dr. Florian Drücke, Chairman & CEO of BVMI added: “The top priority for BVMI and its members is a properly functioning streaming market because distortion and manipulation harm artists as well as their partners. They 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.”
This is the latest in a series of actions being taken globally against manipulation services. In 2021 summary proceedings were brought before the Regional Court of Frankfurt preventing the operator of the streaming manipulation service from generating additional plays, views, likes and subscribers for music on commercial online media platforms as a service. Comparable decisions were obtained by the Regional Courts of Darmstadt, Bremen, Hamburg and Cologne in August 2020, in proceedings brought by BVMI and IFPI requiring the operators of socialnow.de, of socialgeiz.de and likergeiz.de, of netlikes.de as well as of likesandmore.de to discontinue elements of their music manipulation service. In March 2020, both associations had obtained an injunction against followerschmiede.de before the Berlin Regional Court. The music industry has also taken successful action elsewhere, including in Brazil, and is working with government agencies and intermediaries in various countries to disrupt the operation of such services.
Notes to editors:
IFPI is the voice of the recording industry worldwide, representing over 8,000 record company members across the globe. We work to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music around the world.
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