YouTube Tries to Prevent Gaming of Its 24-Hour Record Debuts Chart With Paid Ads

The Google-owned video site said it wants to align with practices used by Billboard, Nielsen

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YouTube will no longer count paid advertising views when compiling its YouTube Music Charts for 24-hour record debuts.

The Google-owned video site said in a blog post that it made the change to maintain consistency and credibility across its platform, as well as to align with the policies for charting services such as Billboard and Nielsen.

YouTube’s processes for compiling its charts have faced scrutiny of late.

Earlier this month, Elias Leight of Rolling Stone reported on Latin music labels spending tens of thousands of dollars on YouTube TrueView ads to boost their artists’ placements on the video site’s charts.

And in July, Lucas Shaw of Bloomberg explored how Indian rapper Badshah used ads to drive his Paagal video to a record-setting 75 million views in a single day topping the previous record set by Korean boy band BTS.

YouTube wrote in its blog post, “Our goal is to ensure that YouTube remains a place where all artists are accurately recognized and celebrated for achieving success and milestones. 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. The changes will not impact YouTube’s existing 24-hour record debut holders.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.