This news crept out over the holiday break, when almost no one is paying attention to the news:

The world's biggest recording companies have been stripped of two billion YouTube hits after the website cracked down on alleged 'fake' and 'dead' views.

Universal, home of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber, lost a total of one billion views in the video site’s biggest ever crackdown on its viewing figures.

Sony was second hardest hit, with the label behind such stars as Alicia Keys, Rita Ora and Labrinth losing more than 850million views in a single day.

But the labels' defense is downright wacky: "Universal acknowledged its drop in views, but told the Daily Dot its channel had been mostly dormant since it shifted its focus to Vevo, which it founded in 2009 together with Sony Music, Abu Dhabi Media Company, and E1 Entertainment."

You know, 'cause everybody watches Vevo. That's how come they don't even let Quantcast—who estimates they're bouncing around at about 750K views a month—reliably measure their stuff. Really, they say, no one is watching YouTube anymore.