YouTube has come under fire from Badshah, a Bollywood rapper set a new record that the Giant video-sharing platform isn’t talking about. The Indian rapper recently released a music video for Paagal that amassed 75 million views in the first 24 hours after being uploaded. It now has over 114 million views.
The video beat BTS’s Boy with Luv, Taylor Swift’s Me!, BlackPink’s Kill This Love and Ariana Grande’s thank u, next which got 74.6 million views, 65.2 million views, 56.7 million views and 55.4 million views respectively. All these videos got praise from YouTube except for Badshah’s video.
It was later revealed that the Indian rapper bought ads from Google and YouTube to boost views of his dancehall song. The ads placed the embedded the video and directed viewers to it in some other way.
Buying ads to increase the views of your video is a common practice among music labels and if the video ad is watched by Youtube users even for a couple of seconds, the Google-owned video hub counts it as a view. Most artists like Taylor and BlackPink did this with their recent videos and Badshah did the same and the video didn’t get any praise for breaking the record. The Indian artist, real name Aditya Singh puts the blame on the double standards at YouTube.
According to Bloomberg, the artist went to Instagram to rant.”We worked hard for this, promoted it worldwide. I don’t want people abroad to see India like it’s shown in a film like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. We are at par with the world. And it’s our time to shine.”
Stream fraud is frowned upon but Google’s ads that increase the views put the company at an awkward position. Records broken by views make it an important platform for music artists to upload their videos and so labels invest their time and money on it and on the other hand, Google’s ad business would hurt if it barred artists or labels from buying ads for their videos.
Bloomberg reports that this recent controversy has now made Google rethink if views gained from ads should count together with the regular native views on YouTube.