It was big news last year when someone discovered that a software called TuneBoom Pro was being utilised by music labels and musicians to artificially increase the number of plays for their songs on MySpace. The site was reported to MySpace administrators and it has since disappeared.
Bands and labels wanting to falsify their number of MySpace plays still have plenty of other ways to manipulate their play counts. We know of several other sites providing the same type of service. (We wouldn’t encourage them so if you are looking for references don’t count on us!)
So what’s the matter with falsely increasing MySpace plays? If everyone else is doing it, you find yourself almost being forced to — just like Olympic athletes and steroids. The sad thing is MySpace will probably never be able to eradicate all these play increase softwares, somewhat like how the International Olympic Committee will never be able to insure athletes never use steroids or other types of drugs.
What this mean is we’ll just have to take high plays on an artist’s site with a grain of salt, and realise that this does not necessarily mean they are actually popular. And you can expand this to the number of Youtube views a video has, and the number of friends on someone’s Facebook account.