“It costs us money”, Qobuz reacts to false listening on music platforms

The French platform Qobuz participated in the study by the National Music Center which revealed that there would have been between 1 and 3 billion false plays in France in 2021.

“Everyone is a loser” says Georges Fornay, Deputy CEO of Qobuz on the Tech&Co platform in reaction to the release of the study by the National Music Center which estimates that there would have been between 1 and 3 billion false listening in France in 2021. The French listening platform Qobuz participated in the report.

Qobuz relies on musical and sound quality. On its platform, Qobuz detected 1.6% of false listening. “We do not detect all the fraud because it is very complex”, confides Georges Fornay. But by relying on data and statistics, the platform is able to detect unusual behavior “and that’s what concerns us”.

This detection is possible because Qobuz reports everything that happens on its platform. To understand the mechanism of fraud, you have to look at the music streaming ecosystem. “Each “costs more than 30 seconds generates income donated to rights holders or record companies”, explains the director.It is the latter who remunerate the artists according to a well-defined percentage.

According to Georges Fornay, this “phenomenon of fraud” can be explained in several ways: it can come from “people who want to make money”, from “fake labels created by aggregators” to generate real business or from individuals wanting to increase the visibility of certain artists by bringing them up in the recommendation algorithms.

Well-designed systems

He also points out that “these fake streams are costing us money”. Indeed, if the activity is fake it does not bring anything to the platform because it does not generate new subscriptions.

To establish the study, it was with the help of tools that the platforms were able to detect these false listenings, for example through unusual behavior such as very long streaming times or pieces played in accelerated mode.

Fraudsters set up well-crafted systems with networked computers that run titles in a loop, often using fake accounts opened with expired or stolen credit cards. They also use viruses to take control of a computer and launch eavesdropping or they organize cyberattacks on real accounts.

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