CANBERRA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Chartfixer, an Australian-based website that promised to buy artists into positions on the ARIA charts has been shut down, just a week after going live.
For $5,000, Chartfixer pledged to locate or "crowdsource" 1,000 people to download an artist's track during the week it is released, providing sufficient movement to place the track in the top 80 of the ARIA singles chart. Each of the people would be paid three dollars to download the track, while Chartfixer would keep the balance. $25,000 would pay for enough downloads to potentially bump the artist into the top 20.
Despite having the appearance of tool designed to manipulate the ARIA singles chart, the site's founders maintained that their business practices were not illegal. According to Chartfixer, their business was not fixing or manipulating charts, but was just "another marketing tool available to musicians."
Unsurprisingly, the site proved controversial with ARIA, and ARIA CEO Stephen Peach told Billboard that, "[Chartfixer] looks very much like misleading and deceptive conduct to me, in breach of the Trade Practices Act."
The reason for Chartfixer's shutdown was not revealed and an ARIA spokeswoman noted that while ARIA had threatened legal action, they had been behind the shutdown. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers