YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment
The record labels YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment and Star Empire Entertainment filed a bill of indictment with the Seoul Supreme Prosecutors' Office.
The record labels YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment and Star Empire Entertainment filed a bill of indictment with the Seoul Supreme Prosecutors’ Office demanding an investigation into companies paid to manipulate digital music streaming numbers to increase the chart position of South Korean pop acts, on Wednesday.
The labels allege that the digital streaming music scam is a million dollar-a-year industry, according to the website TENASIA.
And the record labels claim their business is increasing.
“[The music streaming data manipulation] must be stopped before agencies which properly release digital albums are at a disadvantage, and the public loses faith,”
a YG Entertainment rep said, according to the website allkpop.
“[The entire] digital music business needs to work together and a preventative measure must be put in place to prevent these illegal acts.”
“The manipulation which hurts agencies that release and distribute music fairly and tarnish the faith in digital music sites has to be immediately stopped,” read an official JYP Entertainment statement from Wednesday.
“All digital music businesses must work together to arrange a system to prevent the corruption of music businesses and manipulation of digital numbers.”
After the bill of indictment had been filed, record labels Cube Entertainment and FNC Entertainment expressed solidarity with the crackdown on agencies profiting on tweaking digital streaming data.
“We are together with SM, YG, JYP, and Star Empire on the problem that chart manipulation creates an illness in the music industry,” Cube Entertainment executives said in an official statement on Wednesday.
“With this, we hope that the music industry will become a proper market.”
FNC Entertainment also released an official statement expressing their support.
“With this [potential investigation] we hope that the chart manipulation becomes cleared,” the statement read. “We hope to create a healthy music market through fair competition.”
One employee of a digital music provider offered an example of just how easy it is to manipulate digital streaming data.
“It normally takes four minutes to listen to a whole song, which means the maximum playing time for that song would be 360 a day,” the employee explained.
“But our recent monitor found that a certain user listens to a particular song 1,000 times a day and even 10,000 times a day.”
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