YouTube has become one of the major mining fields for digital content creators

Monday, July 19th, 2021 00:00 |

YouTube has become one of the major mining fields for digital content creators. The platform is also a big revenue generator for creatives, however, as Allan Adalla writes, some scrupulous creators may be bending the rules. 

Before the advancement in technology, the music industry as we know it was a whole different thing.

Artistes and music production studios boasted the large numbers of music album sales.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller album remains the world’s best-selling album of all time, with 70 million copies sold worldwide.

Things are different now, thanks to digital sites such as the YouTube, which have shifted the paradigm to have people go online to have a view of their favourite entertainment content.

This has indeed changed many creators’ fortunes for the better, with creative having to earn handsomely from the views.

For instance, the number of YouTube views a video garners, the likes, comments, shares and subscriber numbers determine the success of a video.

A video commanding many views gets to appear at the top of search results, a move that sells it to more eyes, which translates to more revenue for the creator via ad impressions.

However, allegations that some creators, including musicians, have been ‘buying’  views is rifee.

Recently, an Instagram user claimed that the latest hit song by rapper Octopizzo titled Pockets has falsified YouTube views.

“I just saw on an Instastory, that YouTube views of the song Pockets by Octopizzo has over 700k views after three days, but when I went to view them on YouTube, they had decreased to 100k views (sic),” the fan wrote on the post.

Views for sale

This is not the first time Octopizzo has fallen victim to such claims. In August 2018, he was accused of buying views for his song Oliel.

He released the song that broke a Kenyan record at that time by garnering more than 1.4 million views within one day.

Something odd about those numbers was that on the day of the release, the number one trending video was Position by Ethic and Kansoul with just 275,000 views.

Oliel was trending at number 22 with 1.2 million views. At the end of the day, it didn’t even make it to the top 20.

However, comedian and content creator YY defended the musician by clapping back to this fan’s claims.

He is against the opinion that there are fake YouTube views. “To those complaining why a person with 200,000 views is trending on YouTube more than a person with over one million views, listen before you make baseless arguments like accusing them of buying views.

Videos on trending are there because of specific patterns and algorithms set by YouTube,” said YY.

He added: “One can have one million views but 90 per cent of viewers have not viewed even a half of the video.

The other one can have over 200,000 views with everyone watching the full video.

The person with over 200,000 views will trend more than the other one because of more watch time and is keeping the audience glued on YouTube.

So, if 200,000 people view the video for like six minutes and the one million people view it in one minute, the person with the 200,000 views will absolutely have more watch time, so there is nothing like buying views here.”

The rules

According to YouTube, in order for one to join the YouTube Partner Programme (YPP), they should have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months and more than 1,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel.

However, cybernaut George Wanyoike believes that the buying of views is something that exists. “My video was trending sometime back at number three on YouTube.

Total views were 500,000, and I gained 1,300 more subscribers. Octopizzo with 1.4 million views for Oliel just gained 300 subscribers.

That could be a proof that buying of views might have been applied. It is an unethical way of promoting content,” George tells Spice.

Music marketer Vyto Kelvin says as long as we have advanced technology, there must be disadvantages that come with it.

He adds that the initial style of selling albums was better since everything was genuine.

“We must thank the advancement in technology that has brought us YouTube and other online music platforms.

However, they have come with some demerits as well, including the buying of views and chasing clout by artistes as a marketing strategy.

Honestly, this behaviour paints a picture of an artiste who can do anything, deceitful or otherwise, to push numbers and stay appealing to his audience,” he says.

Octopizzo didn’t pick our calls, but sent a text message saying we should text him our queries, which we did. By the time of going to press, he hadn’t responded to the text message.

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