In this day and age, YouTube views are a huge cultural metric and often used to define popularity. One place this occurs regularly is music videos, and today, Google is revising the YouTube Music Charts and 24-hour record debut policy to not factor in ad-based views.
One common practice sees artists and record labels buying advertisements that direct watchers to a video and therefore increases the view count. It first emerged in June that Google was re-evaluating music records following boosted views from ads, especially when considering that online ad rates are cheaper in some parts of the world than others.
Google calls YouTube Music Charts the “go-to destination to see what’s popular, what’s rising and trending both locally and globally on YouTube.” They will no longer count views from paid advertising when calculating metrics, with artists now only ranked based on view counts from organic plays.
In addition to increasing transparency, this move will “align with the policies of official charting companies such as Billboard and Nielsen.” That same change applies to 24-hour record debuts, which is how many views a video gets within the first day of being uploaded to YouTube:
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.
Existing 24-hour record debut holders will not be impacted. Overall, YouTube is trying to “maintain consistency and credibility” of this “definitive representation of [a video’s] instant cultural impact.”
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