As part of their “despamming” initiative, YouTube has hammered away at views in the past month, dropping views from private and deleted videos. YouTube creators like Ryan Higa and Mystery Guitar Man saw their views drop tremendously, with Higa losing more than 100 million video views.
Now YouTube is out on another purge, this time threatening to terminate accounts that buy views. However, a report from the BBC finds that a few people are still taking advantage of the pay-for-views scheme.
If you do a web search for “buy YouTube views,” you’ll come across various sites that promise thousands of views for a small fee. The BBC report states that YouTubers can buy 10,000 views for as little as £30 ($45.35) or £100 ($151.17) as well as comments to authenticate the views.
An American company, Next Big Sound, said it will release a report later in the year detailing which major artists are paying to get more views to please their record labels.
In one instance of view buying, BBC talked to English YouTube singer/songwriter Jordan Allen, who was in the process of buying YouTube views. He said that from a marketing perspective, buying YouTube views is great, but questioned the practice on moral grounds.
He added: “I think in this day in age it’s so hard to break in the music industry, so you could understand why people do it. Some of the talentless things you see with 5 million hits definitely gives rise to suspicion when you can buy a million views for $3,000.”
Allen bought some YouTube views a few days after his BBC interview, and in a follow-up interview, he said that while it bumped his views, he probably wouldn’t do it again because it would be considered “cheating.”