Following Indian rapper BadShah breaking records even Taylor Swift couldn’t touch, YouTube is reviewing its policies. BadShah promises he’s not the only one gaming the charts, however.
BadShah racked up over 75 million views on his track “Paagal” within the first 24 hours. That’s a million faster than a record set by K-pop band BTS earlier in the year. Instead of trumpeting this revelation from the rooftops, however, YouTube chose to keep quiet.
Bloomberg soon revealed that BadShah’s feat was pay-assisted. That meant his advertising team paid Google to place the video prominently during those crucial 24 hours. After the deception was revealed, Rolling Stone went further to show how YouTube’s TrueView tool can be abused.
BadShah admitted to using paid promotion tools to achieve his record. He revealed his promotion in a video on Instagram after being accused of generating fake views. The rapper took it further to suggest than many of the top artists in the world engage in the same practice.
“You think artists abroad don’t get paid promotions? Are you so 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 is changing the rules so paid-views do not affect music charts. YouTube doesn’t name any names in its revision post, but it does highlight how things will change going forward.
“Videos eligible for YouTube’s 24-hour record debuts are those with the highest views from organic sources within the first 24 hours of the video’s public release. This includes direct links to the video, search results, external sites that embed the video and YouTube features like the homepage, watch next and Trending.
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 changes will not impact YouTube’s existing 24-hour record debut holders.”