What Really Happened to Sony and Universal’s 2 Billion Missing YouTube Views

From Billboard:

A YouTube spokesman confirmed that the company routinely adjusts their view counts in two ways. The first is by ” de-spamming” the data, which takes out things like videos that automatically play without intervention from the viewer or pop-under videos that viewers may not actually see.

In the latest “de-spam,” YouTube subtracted 1.5 million views from Sony and Universal’s channels. That may sound like a lot, but it’s just a fraction of the 1.3 billion it subtracted throughout its entire video library.

The answer comes in the second way that YouTube changed its view count. The company recently decided to remove view counts for videos that are no longer live on the channel, or so-called “dead videos.” For Universal and Sony, that meant thousands of music videos that over the past three years slowly have migrated to the VEVO channel, which is jointly owned by the two companies. A senior label executive confirmed the migration.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Billboard