New Viewership Policies at YouTube Ruffle Some Industry Feathers

Viewer numbers have always been an obsession with labels and their musicians when it comes to online videos. And to media giant YouTube, which for nearly a decade had that market securely cornered, the same thing is now a sore point. In the past three years there have been news reports and social media innuendo that viewer numbers were being rigged and inflated for certain artists to help boost their careers and bring in more profits for their home labels. While these kinds of accusations have come and gone without detailed and concrete proof, they have spooked YouTube into introducing a big change in its music charting system. While the company is not going public yet with findings, industry experts say that growth hacks are now playing a more and more prominent part in the online music industry, and that FaceBook has gathered enough information, both in-house and from outside sources, to justify tightening the screws. Only organic plays will be counted as ‘real’ views. Everything else will be discounted, when it comes to statistical viewership.

Music charts will no longer be calculated to include so-called advertiser views starting next month. In the past this has been a major, and often disputed, source for music artists and their labels for statistical boasting and for increasing artistic fees for concerts and music videos. In fact, some sources say that the money has become so serious that several record labels have