YouTube has discovered that some music artists were gaming the system to get inflated view count numbers and this has forced the video-streaming company to alter the way it calculates views for its music charts.
As such, “advertising views” will no longer reflect as a view count for ranking purposes. A new blog post says that top-watched videos will be ranked according to organic plays. This is because it’s now common practice to run music videos as advertisements. Under the old algorithm, this can count as a view if the ad is watched for long enough.
Watch to find out more on the issue below.
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Video credit: Rumble
This has led to the practice of running calculated advertising campaigns to catapult a music video into YouTube’s top view charts for the first 24 hours since a video has been released. These artists often then tout the record-breaking 24-hour views as a “definitive representation of its instant cultural impact,” which is why YouTube has moved to adjust the way it calculates those views in order to ensure that the numbers are accurate.
The blog post continues, “It’s a great honor and one we take very seriously. As we look to maintain consistency and credibility across our platform, we’ve made some necessary revisions to our methodology for reporting 24-hour record debuts.”
From now on, only organic view sources will be counted which includes “direct links to the video, search results, external sites that embed the video and YouTube features like the homepage, watch next and Trending.”
The last few months have seen YouTube’s music chart system face some controversies. One example is Indian rapper Badshah whose video broke the record for most views within 24 hours in July at 75 million views. This record surpassed the record of BTS which had 74.6 million views just months earlier. However, people accused the rapper and his team of using artificial views to inflate the numbers.
From a Bloomberg report, it was revealed that Badshah’s team had indeed utilized paid advertisements that embedded their video or actively promoted it. So far, YouTube has not made a comment on the allegedly inflated numbers.
“Video advertising is an effective way to reach specific audiences with a song debut, but paid advertising views on YouTube will no longer be considered when looking at a 24-hour record debut,” the blog post reads.
Movie studios and TV networks actually use similar tactics to achieve record-breaking numbers but YouTube’s changes won’t affect them. A YouTube spokesperson clarified that the change “is focused on aligning YouTube Music Charts and records with the industry standard and how we report to Nielsen and other third party charting companies.”