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Youtube released its view counts earlier this week for its biggest channels, and people who watch these things noticed that some major record companies had their numbers drop by a whopping 2 billion views. So, where the heck did they all go? 

The Daily Dot reports Universal was the biggest loser in the case of the missing views. Their channel lost about about a billion views in comparison to where their numbers were before the recount. Sony/BMG lost 850 million, with RCA accounting for the rest. A lot of people were theorizing that Youtube caught them juicing their view counts -- doing something unseemly to make themselves look more popular than they are. The real answer is much more boring. And has nothing to do with Gangnam.

Billboard's Alex Pham reports the reason the views disappeared, mostly, is because of Vevo. "The company recently decided to remove view counts for videos that are no longer live on the channel, or so-called 'dead videos,'" Pham explains. "For Universal and Sony, that meant thousands of music videos that over the past three years slowly have migrated to the VEVO channel, which is jointly owned by the two companies." Vevo is the music video-specific channel on Youtube started in conjunction with the record companies back in 2009. So, because all the music videos the companies used to host on Youtube are now under the Vevo umbrella, their views don't count anymore. They happened, sure. They just count somewhere else now. 

Case closed. This one's not exactly Law & Order worthy.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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