A controversial Web-based company which pledged to buy chart positions has shut down.

With a dubious business model that promised chart glory in return for five-figure sums of cash, the Australian-based Chartfixer was quickly positioning itself as the industry's enemy No. 1. But today (June 8) Chartfixer put up the "closed" banner.

For $6,000 Australian ($5,000), Chartfixer vowed to crowd-source "downloaders" to buy 1,000 digital copies, good enough to crack the top 80 of the ARIA singles chart on a typical week. For an ambitious "musician", $30,000 Australian ($25,000) would buy 5,000 sales through Chartfixer, and a potential top 20 entry in the ARIA chart.

Prior to the shuttering, Australian Recording Industry Assn. (ARIA) CEO Stephen Peach told Billboard.biz that Chartfixer was a serious target. "[Chartfixer] looks very much like misleading and deceptive conduct to me, in breach of the Trade Practices Act," he explained. "They have reason to be concerned about their position."

It would appear Peach's taunts found their target. When Billboard.biz last week communicated via email with Chartfixer, its founder was unrepentant.

"ARIA has nothing to fear," wrote the entrepreneur, who went by the name Mr Chartfixer but remained anonymous. "Chartfixer is not illegal, and though its name may suggest otherwise, Chartfixer does not actually fix or rig the ARIA charts. Chartfixer is basically a cashback system where somebody buys a product and they receive money back. It is nothing more than another promotional service available to musicians or record labels."

ARIA is not claiming to have taken down the company.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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