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  #1  
Old 12-02-2013, 04:43 AM
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Default The Big Business of Fake Fans

A curious story I ran across

http://www.laweekly.com/2013-10-03/m...youtube-views/

A few excerpts:

Quote:
Despite those millions of views, only 30 people bothered to show up.

Hypebot, another music website, found the discrepancy between the singer's online fan base and his real-life star power to be odd, suggesting the singer had committed one of the music industry's oldest forms of fraud: paying for his fans. "The possibility that BAKER bought social media support is worth further investigation," HypeBot's Clyde Smith wrote.
Quote:
music industry insiders' inboxes are flooded with pitches from sites promising to help juke their stats.

Companies such as Vagex.com and Virool claim to offer customers "real YouTube views" for a small fee.
Quote:
Joshua Smotherman, a PR consultant who founded the Middle Tennessee Music blog and admits to using exchange sites for his band, BUNKS, says: "Our album sales didn't increase, our downloads didn't increase, our mailing list sign-ups didn't increase, and that's really what we care about."

Indeed, inflated stats are so prevalent that music industry insiders say that millions of YouTube views don't mean all that much anymore. In fact, having an unreasonably large social media following could backfire.
Quote:
In December, YouTube stripped Universal and Sony of a combined 2 billion views
Quote:
The availability of cheap YouTube views means that even D.I.Y. artists can participate in payola.
Kind of makes me wonder about some people who have a millions views on their covers.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2013, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Very good find.....I had no idea.

The nefarious behaviors the "look at me" crowd will indulge in do not surprise me I guess, but I did know it would be this blatant. I find social media to be largely gratuitous, however, this DW exchange is pretty darn useful and enlightening.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2013, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

I got this today, via a website that I run: (Note to mods, I've deleted the links and replaced with a non-existent and obvious URL)

"Hello, I am a professional social media business manager, obviously.
We can help you also with build 10,000 Twitter Followers in 7 days, or 100,000 YouTube visits, to your YouTube video or channel
Build 20,000 Google +1, from your peers about your business. Best offer G+1 building in 7 days
You can get help building 100,000 Facebook LIKES in 7 days. Likes Mean visitors endorse your Fan Page or website.
How do you think Justin Bieber(singer) get his first 1,000,000 followers before his first album? His producers build the followers for him?
I have something to offer that might interest you. http://dodgyscammysite.com/buy-facebook-likes.php
By placing more than 10,000 endorsements using Facebook LIKES. This tell Google that your website is relative and authentic to what you do. IT WILL BE POSTED RIGHT ON YOUR WEBSITE FOR ALL VISITORS TO SEE HOW MANY -(people) Facebook LIKES you have, via Facebook, by real FB counter button.
These indicators (Facebook LIKES) will be visible on your website. If you have not installed Facebook Like count button on your website I can help you install it!
After my work is finished, the Facebook LIKES Count Button will confirm a high ranking of your site, which will be noticed and appreciated by your visitors, and they will also be able to recommend your site to their friends on these social network.
Please let me know if you are interested. If this does not interest you, I'm sorry to have bothered you! Have a good day! Unsubscribe here http://dodgyscammysite.com/unsubscribe.php
Sincerely, Facebook LIKES Provider "
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2013, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

A good friend of mine is a pretty large promoter that books national acts into medium sized venues around New England. We had a discussion about this very thing a few weeks ago when discussing who he books. He basically said that he has stopped looking at facebook likes as a means of determining a bands popularity. Instead he will basically book any band that fits the headliners style and see how well they draw. Which frankely makes much more sense to me anyway.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2013, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Public relations...without the public.Cyber fans,who pledge blind loyalty,aren't fickle and will go to all of your shows,and buy all of your music,no matter how awful it really is.

Music producers and other execs. are just greedy and hollow enough not to do the research.or use focus groups, to actually verify the veracity, of cyber claims of populatity.

And some dishonest computer geek,is making money,perpertrating a ruse.

Some of this also is just stroking someones ego,who actually thinks they have talent,because some enablers told them thay can actually sing.......American Idol auditions anyone?

I suppose it's better than the other end of the spectrum,where those attention seeker,resort to more nefarious activities,to get fame and attention....Mark David Chapman ..ring a bell?How about Charles Manson.

Steve B
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2013, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Now , I feel better about my 132 views in 2 years !!!
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2013, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

The instant gratification phenomenon along with the utoob phenomenon and downloading have ostensibly changed the face of music performance.

I have realized that I was extremely lucky to have grown up in the 60s and 70s and I appreciate learning music back then and playing in bands back then and working my way into working bands...and now in my middle age, continuing to enjoy and benefit from that hard work.

The irony is, something I don't care for, ie social media, has helped me realize what a profoundly lucky person I am by way of birth date...and also helped me realize how profoundly lucky I am to not have to be so acutely focused on what others think of me.

Instant gratification may also help the old-timers among us stand out as better musicians in the long run, so I can see the benefit in all of this change.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2013, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
The instant gratification phenomenon along with the utoob phenomenon and downloading have ostensibly changed the face of music performance.

I have realized that I was extremely lucky to have grown up in the 60s and 70s and I appreciate learning music back then and playing in bands back then and working my way into working bands...and now in my middle age, continuing to enjoy and benefit from that hard work.

The irony is, something I don't care for, ie social media, has helped me realize what a profoundly lucky person I am by way of birth date...and also helped me realize how profoundly lucky I am to not have to be so acutely focused on what others think of me.

Instant gratification may also help the old-timers among us stand out as better musicians in the long run, so I can see the benefit in all of this change.
Payola was a big deal in the 60's, 70 and 80's.

Many hit records of those times were hits because radio DJ's were bribed, and good music was often ignored if payments were not made.

Check out the book "Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business"
by Fredric Dannen and you'll read how corrupt the music business was in 60's, 70's and 80's.

This article is not so much a reflection of a new problem in the music business, but how the same old concepts have adapted to the new online world.
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Very interesting article. I do like how the LA Weekly blatantly advertises its political bias by stating Romney and Gingrich have also done the same thing. Sorry, no political rant here, just stating the fact. Move along.
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2013, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Payola was a big deal in the 60's, 70 and 80's.

Many hit records of those times were hits because radio DJ's were bribed, and good music was often ignored if payments were not made.

Check out the book "Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business"
by Fredric Dannen and you'll read how corrupt the music business was in 60's, 70's and 80's.

This article is not so much a reflection of a new problem in the music business, but how the same old concepts have adapted to the new online world.
Interesting view...however, the fans were not fake back then. it's no secret that payola was involved back in the 60/70/80 etc....but getting the music played on the air was tantamount to acquiring real loyal fans....and that real loyal fan went and bought tickets, merch, albums, etc

Payola is everywhere in every facet of life....no discovery there....but today the payola, at least in this case, is not amounting to much....whereas letting snow, showing the dough or getting the Ho would lead to plays on the air, rotation etc...and back when instant gratification was not so prevalent, we were extremely thirsty to learn more about the artist behind the music so we went to concerts, bought the shirts, bought the records etc

I stand behind my premise
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2013, 06:59 PM
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Default

Yeah, I mentioned this last week in the "no one likes me" thread in General Discussion.

:P

drummers: here is a prime example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh_zU2UFCmA

the false comments from fake user accounts are what really made me laugh out loud!

Last edited by Arky; 12-03-2013 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Interesting view...however, the fans were not fake back then. it's no secret that payola was involved back in the 60/70/80 etc....but getting the music played on the air was tantamount to acquiring real loyal fans....and that real loyal fan went and bought tickets, merch, albums, etc

Payola is everywhere in every facet of life....no discovery there....but today the payola, at least in this case, is not amounting to much....whereas letting snow, showing the dough or getting the Ho would lead to plays on the air, rotation etc...and back when instant gratification was not so prevalent, we were extremely thirsty to learn more about the artist behind the music so we went to concerts, bought the shirts, bought the records etc

I stand behind my premise
Fair point. You are correct, bought rotations on radio attracted real fans, not fake ones.

My point was the whole premise of fake fans is make it appear to real fans that you are more popular than you are, so that real fans will then take notice. It's still the same concept of creating a buzz about a band so that people will check out what the buzz is about.

I don't think most artists who buy fake fans are interesting in the instant gratification of suddenly having a millions views (although, I'm sure some are), it's promoting the product by making it appear larger than it really is.
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
drummers: here is a prime example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh_zU2UFCmA

the false comments from fake user accounts are what really made me laugh out loud!
Notice there are only 11,839 likes from over 2.6 million supposed views.

Playing covers...I can't take covers seriously. They are great to learn how to play drums, but to put vids up and think you are really drumming is wack-a-doo!

Real bands or it didn't happen.
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
drummers: here is a prime example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh_zU2UFCmA

the false comments from fake user accounts are what really made me laugh out loud!
He has more views than the live clips from the actual band itself. lol.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Notice there are only 11,839 likes from over 2.6 million supposed views.

Playing covers...I can't take covers seriously. They are great to learn how to play drums, but to put vids up and think you are really drumming is wack-a-doo!

Real bands or it didn't happen.
And 66,000+ subscribers? LOL
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  #16  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
My point was the whole premise of fake fans is make it appear to real fans that you are more popular than you are, so that real fans will then take notice. It's still the same concept of creating a buzz about a band so that people will check out what the buzz is about.

I don't think most artists who buy fake fans are interesting in the instant gratification of suddenly having a millions views (although, I'm sure some are), it's promoting the product by making it appear larger than it really is.
Yes...thats true. I agree with the ploy as you have described it. What I meant by the "instant gratification" and what is unfortunate for today's emerging artists is that it is easy to get the content right on youtube for free...thus there is no built in mechanism anymore for sales and that's why this "new" math (payola) is not as effective...and ultimately the fan is not getting the intense anticipation and then enjoyment of finally seeing the concert or finally seeing the new album in the store. The fan is ultimately the one that loses because the excitement, buildup and anticipation is important to the whole experience and what created rabid and loyal fans...imo

Well, have I beat the horse enough? I will go away now :-)
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

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Well, have I beat the horse enough? I will go away now :-)
Don't go away, you're making good points.

It's just conversation.
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  #18  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

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Don't go away, you're making good points.

It's just conversation.
I find the conversation to be very interesting because, the way I view things..at the half century mark....from a philosophic view, it is interesting to me how technology and it's is very ironically, imo removing some of the joys of life. This conversation supports my somewhat cynical view that all technology may not be good. it supports my mother's view...and constant lambasting that instant gratification is not good. Working for something is good....the struggle is good. And that maps on to this youtube musician phenomenon thing quite nicely methinks.

For instance, the Beatles have brought immense joy and musicality to untold millions including myself....the platform for that was fantastic music (is that really subjective when it comes to the Beatles?) and insane excitement to see who and what this thing was...

Would we have all experienced that same feeling about the beatles had they been relegated to plying their wares on social media? What are we missing out on because of the in your face and somewhat nefarious vibe of the marketing social media musician?

An interesting question...perhaps the answer is not so good for music in general?
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

So many ways to look at this issue.

Is it like the need to get a race car running so you can participate in the race?

Is it plain old fashioned lieing?


Not something I would participate in....though I can see the code to automate this.

The concept applies to unit sales as well...if you have the $ you can shill out purchases of your product to create buzz...then try to re-sell the product you purchased once the buzz gets going....maybe at a marginal loss written off as "publicity expense"....or open a small LLC to buy /sell the product and write off the loss....loads of fake publicity at the cost of $1.00 per download....and neatly tax deductable.

....feel like I need a shower now after describing this.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2013, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
drummers: here is a prime example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh_zU2UFCmA

the false comments from fake user accounts are what really made me laugh out loud!
That was difficult to watch. He was trying WAAAYYY too hard.

Seems to me that we are in the throes of the "look at me" generation, where everyone expects everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. Forget about hard work, putting in time, blood, sweat, and tears to achieve your goals. When I was learning, I had to do it the hard way. Covers were just another form of practice, not a marketing tool. I had no YouTube, or internet for that matter. Once I finally joined a band, and I had to audition for it, we got shows based on reputation and crowd draw, not likes or views.

I think the net will be counter productive eventually. It will be so full of people trying to get found, the only way to be seen will to be actually going out and playing.
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  #21  
Old 12-03-2013, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
drummers: here is a prime example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh_zU2UFCmA

the false comments from fake user accounts are what really made me laugh out loud!
Good God how do I get my 4 minutes back? Please? Anybody?
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2013, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

Yes....well said. I agree it will be counterproductive; it may be closer than we think to that state of affairs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
That was difficult to watch. He was trying WAAAYYY too hard.

Seems to me that we are in the throes of the "look at me" generation, where everyone expects everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. Forget about hard work, putting in time, blood, sweat, and tears to achieve your goals. When I was learning, I had to do it the hard way. Covers were just another form of practice, not a marketing tool. I had no YouTube, or internet for that matter. Once I finally joined a band, and I had to audition for it, we got shows based on reputation and crowd draw, not likes or views.

I think the net will be counter productive eventually. It will be so full of people trying to get found, the only way to be seen will to be actually going out and playing.
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  #23  
Old 12-03-2013, 07:59 AM
Brian Brian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Notice there are only 11,839 likes from over 2.6 million supposed views.

Playing covers...I can't take covers seriously. They are great to learn how to play drums, but to put vids up and think you are really drumming is wack-a-doo!

Real bands or it didn't happen.
I respect that, but I also respect people who post "covers" (any instrument) that can be learned from.

Beginning musicians need to start somewhere, and learning how others play and approach their instrument is a great tool. It's also cool to see how people perform songs that I know, again the approach.

The whole "cover fame" thing, I agree 100% with you. How someone could pay a company to spam 3,000,000 views and 20,000 subscribers for a, well, marginal cover to begin with, doesn't seem like a smart business or career move anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Good God how do I get my 4 minutes back? Please? Anybody?
watched a Gadd video to rinse that feeling away. ;)

Last edited by Arky; 12-03-2013 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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  #24  
Old 12-03-2013, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: The Big Business of Fake Fans

We're these bought views put towards the monetized total?

That would be a nice case of fraud to earn money.
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