EDMC News Features

YouTube Cracks Down on Fake View Counts

January 13th, 2014


Over the past decade, it is unarguable that YouTube has offered a new medium to access videos and media for entertainment fans alike. The instant access to millions of videos has changed musical influence in the entertainment industry and has allowed fans to explore multitudes of acoustic diversity faster than ever. Its explosion has brought with it new ways to discover talent, share new and past favorites, and even gauge success of exposure and marketing. Just as spots in popularity charts once were reflective of success, views on YouTube have become a staple to reflect achievement within the music industry.
In early 2013, the music industry was rocked when YouTube announced a reinforcement of its view count policy. This crackdown was aimed to wipe out fake or forged video counts- videos that use computer programs to rapidly accelerate the number of views the media has incurred. By setting up such programs and enabling auto play on multiple windows, a new video can accumulate thousands of views in mere hours, manipulating a “viral” effect and gaining more exposure through an inflated sense of popularity. For emerging and recognized artists YouTube offers a new source for marketing, advertising, and popularity and this sham indication of popularity further clouds channels of communication for real embraced talent.

Those hardest hit in the crackdown were the major record labels, including Universal and Sony Records. Home to major recording artists such as Rihanna, Justin Beiber, Alicia Keys, and Nicki Minaj these moguls lost respectively almost 2 billion views within 24 hours. Record labels claimed that the view counts were lost due to technical errors such as migration between varied YouTube channels and some labels even directed followers to other video share sites such as Vevo.

YouTube numbers

There is no doubt that the integration of social media has had a huge role in the growing popularity of EDM. Artists such as DJ Bl3nd, Diplo, Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki, and many others have heavily relied on the new standards of internet “gauges” of popularity to become recognized figureheads beyond EDM but within the entertainment industry as a whole. Just look at how the viral “Harlem Shake” videos have turned Brooklyn producer/DJ Baauer into a household name in under a year. So this presents the question- has YouTube’s enforcement of its view count allowed for more diverse presentation of music instead of controlled faux popularity big music labels? Has the breakup of such a monopoly allowed for more EDM focused and non traditional music channels to gain popularity based on a true representation of fan discovery? Or will we see a migration to different means of media distribution through Vevo, Soundcloud, or even increased streaming/downloads on artists’ websites and Facebook pages? Share your opinion in the comments section below.
Interested on how to get views and what constitutes a real view? Read more on the subject here.


**MASS EDMC does not use view count manipulation to boost our popularity so thank you for legitimately taking the time to read this article and share it with your friends**

Written by contributor Seth Hiravy.

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A hybrid child of the 203 & 860, Seth would save up any allowance money he had and raid the dance section of his local CD store for anything with a 4X4 beat. By high school, he organized his area’s first electronic event. While this proved to be a disaster, he wrote a killer college acceptance letter about it - thus a music journalist was born. Today he continues to document from behind the keyboard. When he’s not searching for the perfect emoji or making festival posters/totems, he enjoys long walks into parallel universes, pulling off shameless dance moves, and leading the fight against kids from CT who feel wearing cowboy hats is okay.