It’s a modern version of an old problem.
Streaming manipulation is currently in the headlines, following increasing reports of bots manipulating playcounts and even actual users being paid to artificially inflate streams.
Now AIM CEO Paul Pacifico has spoken out following industry-wide efforts to tackle the issue. The UK indies’ trade body has signed up to a new code of conduct via its association with IMPALA. Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, Merlin and Sony/ATV are also among the signatories.
“The route to a solution has to start somewhere, and for AIM and our members, the code of practice represents an important initial step towards addressing a significant problem in the streaming market place,” said Pacifico. “We are reassured that companies from all sides of the market have come together to recognise the issue and begin to take steps to solve it together.
“The code of practice is not a silver bullet, however it is a unifying foundation from which progress can be made and measured.”
The code of practice is not a silver bullet
A level playing field in global streaming is of vital importance for the indies, who already have to compete with the might of the majors to get on playlists. Nevertheless, independent repertoire does over-index on subscription services.
“It is easy to suggest top-line fixes that may or may not solve the underlying problem,” added Pacifico. “However, the importance of incremental progress and detailed work backed by proper information that leads to practical implementation of measures to ensure a solution, while maintaining a well-functioning market and a diverse musical future, should not be underestimated.
“We look forward to progressing from this first step and to ensuring this code is the beginning that evolves.”
There have been claims that 3-4% of global streams are not legitimate.
The full code of conduct is available here.