Chances are, we’ve all experienced some form of double standards at least once in our lives, and the latest report by Bloomberg sees Indian rapper, Badshah, being subjected to this very form of injustice by streaming platform giant, YouTube. The website is apparently reconsidering “the way it judges records” after Badshah set a new one on their platform.In as little as one day, Badshah raked in an insanely impressive 75 million views on his single “Paagal,” which surpassed the website’s record up, until that point, for the most views in 24 hours. And whilst normally, YouTube takes to praising artists for breaking records, they have not yet congratulated Badshah.
Although, granted, Badshah is a famous star in his hometown of India, his single “Paagal” remarkably managed to beat out global superstar acts like BTS and Taylor Swift. At the begining, some reportedly suspected that the Sony Music rapper had gathered “fake views” by having server farms and bots play the video. But after taking a closer look into the situation, details about just how complex the whole world of YouTube and their ad space and views, came to light. Badshah, together with Sony Music, bought ad space where they embedded the music video for “Paagal” and/or redirected viewers to it. If the viewer watched the ad for, or over, a certain amount of time before skipping it, then “Paagal” got that view. This surely helped boost the video’s total views, but Badshah is, in fact, not the only artist doing this, as many major pop artists have also done the very same thing. Badshah believes instead, that YouTube is just actively choosing not to acknowledge his victory, saying: “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 (2008). We are at par with the world. And it’s our time to shine.” Now, YouTube is allegedly rethinking the way it evaluates records, Bloomberg reports, alleging that by allowing the practice of filling views to continue, the credibility of the popularity and quality of certain tracks will start coming into question.