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A&E Review: YouTube Click Cheat a “Scummy Tactic”

Ethan Philpott, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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The Billboard Hot 100, published weekly by Billboard magazine, is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for singles. Chart rankings are based on physical and digital sales, radio play, and online streaming. In the internet age, online streams are taking over when it comes to sales numbers for artists, with the majority of the sales come from music streaming applications such as Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, etc. But what about YouTube?

Youtube plays have a been counted toward Billboard for over three years now. Most notably, in February of 2013, “Harlem Shake” debuted at  number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This brought up questions about how the system works for charting songs and whether it should include user-generated clips and possible multiple uploads. Unlike other music applications like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, there are many duplicate uploads on YouTube. So, will multiple uploads count towards the charts? And will there be protection against exploitation and inflation of views?

Last week, Hip Hop Artist, Post Malone’s “Rockstar” debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He was at number 2 the final week of September with a 44.1 million digital play deficit behind Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” but managed to overcome with what could be called a “cheat” in the system.

Republic Records, Post’s label, uploaded the video Sept. 21. The video had more than 56 million views at the time of this article’s publication, but to the viewers discontent it’s just 3 minutes and 38 seconds of just the hook of the song. But hey, don’t worry! There’s a link to the full song in the bio. That’s good, right? No, in all seriousness, this is a pretty scummy tactic and cheat to the system as a viewer clicks on the video, which counts as a stream and then the link in the description which counts as a stream and I assume the fans felt the same way as the videos like to dislike ratio is hidden and commenting is disabled.

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Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Student-Run Newspaper
A&E Review: YouTube Click Cheat a “Scummy Tactic”