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There is virtually no liklihood that the copyright payments measured by “listener numbers” is done ethically or honestly.
A “listener” to an online stream is merely an “ip connection” with no verifiable means of “proving” that it represents a true listener.
The copyright royalty collection agencies would find it quite simple to “grow” their royalty income by assigning banks of computers to “act” as listeners by making conterfeit ip connections to streaming radio stations.
There’s no way to prove they’re doing it, but no way to determine that they’re not.