YouTube and Paid-For Plays have been a controversial topic all year thanks to Bloomberg, who pointed towards Badshah in July. The topic is subject to Badshah’s latest track ‘Paagal’ on July 11 on Sony Music. The track broke the all-time 24-hour record for plays on a music video on Youtube by amassing 75 million plays – a million more than ‘Boy With Luv’ by BTS ft. Halsey.
However, YouTube maintained silence on their end instead of celebrating the feat because a significant portion of Badshah’s plays were paid for. After Bloomberg’s expose, it was easy to unravel the technique record labels and artists are using to boost their play-counts thanks to YouTube’s TrueView Tool.
TrueView allows anyone to pay to have a piece of YouTube content auto-play before a user’s chosen video. If you interact with that TrueView pre-roll or watch a certain number of seconds, it will be counted as a view on its source YouTube Channel.
Badshah came forward and agreed to use paid promotion tools. He argued on his Instagram video that “what some people call fake views are not fake views… they are google ad words,” suggesting that some of the world’s biggest artists were also using the same tools to increase their play-counts. Adding to his argument he said, “You think artists abroad don’t get paid promotions? Are you naive? I don’t want to be the one with the highest views, but someone has to be. I tried and I did it. Get over it!”
Now, YouTube has announced it’s cracking down on exactly this kind of practice. Like, any paid for views on YouTube will no longer be counted towards their Music Charts – which is line with the official charting policy of US industry monitor Billboard/Nielsen. They are also strapping down on paid-for views being counted towards their 24 hours record debut metrics.