Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Land Of Fake "Like's"

It never takes long for someone to come up with a way to game an online measurement that the music industry finds useful. Once upon a time, the major labels used MySpace followers as a measure of a band's popularity. That's until it was discovered that there were multiple ways to fake the numbers. Of course, the number of website hits were once used as a measurement until every unknown band seemed to have a million.

We knew this days was coming for some time, but now we have proof that Facebook likes are being paid for. Take a look at the graphic below and you'll see a number of tell-tale signs that the number of Like's may not be what they seem.

We live in a high-tech era that claims to have popularity measurement figured out, but it's interesting that the only sure way to determine popularity is decidedly old and low-tech - the number of people you pull at your concerts. Sales have always been gamed (although it's a bit more difficult these days), but if you have a string of sold out dates with people fighting to get tickets (that's the key), then you can be sure that an act is popular. Ironically, the artists above don't have any trouble on that front.

Yes, I know all about "papering the house" (giving away or offering tickets at extremely low price), but which would you trust more; a venue packed with rabid fans or a bunch of Facebook Like's?

Thanks to Bob Lefsetz for the heads up on the graphic.

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Oakstone said...

Bobby can you clarify why it's proof they're buying fans?

Mexico City is ginormous in terms of population. Isn't it possible that by sheer density they're showing up as most popular city for several acts?

I'm not doubting that the like-buying is true, I'm just not seeing how it's "proven" in the info-graphic.


Bobby Owsinski said...

Perhaps not proven, but highly suspicious.


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