It looks like three major record companies – Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG and RCA Records – are in hot water with YouTube. According to The Daily Dot, the popular Internet video provider has stripped the three music groups of more than 2 billion falsified video views.

Last week, YouTube’s parent company Google retracted upwards of 2 billion views from videos published by UMG, Sony/BMG and RCA. These views are believed to be the product of “black hat” view count-building techniques, in which third-party companies inflate the total view tallies as a means to manipulate a video’s popularity and its increase exposure on YouTube.

The biggest offender of the three record houses was Universal Music Group, who was stripped of over a billion views out of its total 7 billion hits. Sony/BMG and RCA were hardly spared either, with the two companies losing 850 million and 159 million views, respectively.

Yet these lost views aren’t the only punitive measures that Google has taken against the three companies. All but five of UMG’s published videos have been deleted from its channel, while the number of videos on Sony’s channel has been pared down to three.

Google’s crackdown on these black hat views has affected more than 500 different official artist channels, including channels for Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson and many more.

UMG is the first of the three companies to acknowledge its dip in views, and cited its shift to publishing videos on VEVO as the reason why its YouTube channel had been downsized. DX will keep you updated as more information comes to light.

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