YouTube stops counting paid ads in music-video viewing charts
Music videos can’t pay their way to the top of YouTube’s charts anymore.
The online video giant said it will no longer count views from paid advertisements in its one-day record tallies, ending a controversial music-industry practice—and diminishing a sales stream for YouTube.
The unit of Alphabet Inc.’s Google has touted its role as a promotional channel for pop-music stardom. Many artists and record labels would pay to run debut songs as YouTube ads, boosting viewership and the odds of topping the site’s closely watched charts. YouTube executives began rethinking its record tallies recently, Bloomberg News reported earlier.
Indian rapper Badshah seemed to break YouTube’s one-day record in July, netting more than 75 million views with his hit “Paagal,” but the site didn’t give him the official honor. Badshah acknowledged paying for ads to promote the clip.
In a blog post on Friday, YouTube said it was adjusting its policy to “provide more transparency to the industry” and be more consistent with the companies, such as Nielsen, whose popularity tallies determine the royalties record labels and artists receive. YouTube said it wouldn’t retroactively change past record holders.