Music Fights Fraud has launched as a global task force aimed at eradicating streaming fraud.
“Music Fights Fraud represents the first time all corners of the music industry have aligned as a united front to combat fraud in music streaming,” said a statement.
The campaign has widespread industry backing including Downtown including CD Baby, TuneCore and its parent company Believe, DistroKid, UnitedMasters, Symphonic, Empire and Vydia, along with digital service providers Spotify and Amazon Music.
Music Fights Fraud will focus on streaming fraud and streaming manipulation across DSPs. The objectives of Music Fights Fraud are to detect, prevent, mitigate and enforce anti-fraud measures.
The members of the Music Fights Fraud alliance will provide cross-platform collaboration and data sharing in coordination with a third party, the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), a non-profit partnership between private organisations, government and academia.
It has been estimated that, industry-wide, streaming abuse could account for hundreds of millions in revenue lost each year. Streaming abuse, encompassing bots, streaming click farms and imposters, affects the music industry by diluting the royalty pool, reducing revenue for legitimate streams and slowing the approval and release process for creators.
Music Fights Fraud is a self-governing association with future membership subject to approval by its members.
Andrew Bergman, CEO, Downtown Music Holdings, said: “Downtown holds trust and safety for our clients and industry partners as a core pillar of our organisation. We are proud to combine forces with our colleagues across the industry and build on the fantastic work already developed at Downtown to identify and address abusive streaming behaviour. Given our deep commitment to empowering creators, we recognise that working with parties outside of our organisation is also an important step in developing a comprehensive plan to strengthen the music ecosystem.”
Denis Ladegaillerie, Believe’s founder & CEO, said: “Believe is committed to fostering a fairer, balanced and diverse artist and label market, where all music creators can thrive. As we build the future of our industry, we must ensure fake streaming and abusive streaming do not have a place. The launch of Music Fights Fraud is an important step towards that goal, and I am proud to join hands with our digital music partners and distributors to ensure we find effective ways to stop fraud streaming, to ultimately bring more fairness and transparency to the music sector.”
Andreea Gleeson, CEO, TuneCore, said: “Streaming fraud is a costly issue, with bad actors diluting the royalty pool and taking money out of the pockets of legitimate music creators. This has a great impact on self-releasing artists, who account for 5.7% of the world’s streams and represent the fastest growing sector of the global music industry, with over 6.4 million artists [according to MIDiA Research]. TuneCore is proud to join other leading digital music distributors and DSPs to, for the first time ever, pool our resources and stand together to fight streaming fraud and create a fairer, more equitable streaming landscape for creators.”
Charlie Hellman, VP, global head of music product, Spotify, said: “It is critical to the Spotify mission that royalties are paid to legitimate artists for legitimate streams. Artificial streaming is an industry-wide issue, and we are encouraged by the collaboration of this new alliance.”
Rishi Mirchandani, VP licensing and strategy, Amazon Music, said: “Amazon Music is committed to supporting a healthy music industry where artists and creators are able to thrive. We are proud to join Music Fights Fraud alongside key leaders across the industry to address streaming fraud and tackle this issue together.”
Mitch Glazier, chairman & CEO, Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA), said: “Digital streaming has been a game-changing innovation for artists, songwriters, and the entire music ecosystem, rising from a 15% share to 84% of US recorded music revenues in the last 10 years. Music creators, distributors, and services all have a shared stake in a healthy, reliable streaming economy that values human artistry, protects creators’ rights and supports authentic streams. RIAA supports new innovations in the fight against all forms of stream manipulation, fraud, and piracy and welcomes the efforts of Music Fights Fraud.”
Silvia Montello, CEO of AIM, said: "Streaming fraud, in all its guises, is recognised as one of the biggest – and growing – issues facing the recordings business. AIM welcomes all initiatives from distributors, platforms and labels to help tackle it effectively. The Music Fights Fraud alliance, which seeks to identify fraudsters, prevent 'distributor hopping' tactics and enable fraud investigation for criminals operating at scale, can only be a step in the right direction. AIM encourages this and other initiatives using technology to assist in the gatekeeping of content uploads so that genuine artists and creators receive the royalties due to them.”
Pascal Bittard, president at IDOL, said: “I’m delighted to see DSPs and distributors of different stripes unifying to deal with the growing problem of streaming fraud. It will be interesting to see what the next steps for the alliance are, and IDOL will be keen to get involved if there is concrete action. DSPs must continue improving their resources and technological efforts if they are to better detect all forms of fraudulent activities. Larger rights-holders, meanwhile, need to step up and be clearer about measures they intend to take against artists, labels, producers and managers behind such fraud.”