Badshah’s latest release ‘Paagal’ on Sony Music, has set a record by clocking 75 million views in the first 24 hours of its release, beating the previous record set by Korean boy band BTS’s ‘Boy with Luv’. It had reached 100 million views by the 2nd week and 149 million views in less than a month. But this is where the story begins.
In spite of having the highest views in a month’s time, making it the most watched video in the world, surpassing International artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, etc., YouTube is not willing to certify that it set a record. Is it because they are not willing to acknowledge it as genuine views? Or that Badshah is not really a global artist? For that matter neither is BTS. We are not clear about YouTube’s stance in this mater.
As it turned out Badshah and his team had purchased advertisements from Google and YouTube which led to his video being embedded in some of the content being watched or directing search to the video. But then this is a common practice employed by even top international artists and music companies, global industries and well heeled content providers, to ramp up their YouTube views and likes.
So far the Music Industry and the Public at large have accepted the fact that certain amount of Social Media promotions could get you more Views/ Likes/ Comments, etc., depending on the Social Media and this was the barometer of success or failure. Today YouTube’s non reaction to Badshah’s feat brings up the question that the Social Media platforms which sold us the idea that the Views/ Likes/ Comments, etc. was the barometer, seem to be exhibiting double standards. Or is it that they believe these views are not for real. So should we still support Social Media platforms that have an inherent flaw in their system which is easily exploited by third parties?
If ‘Paagal’ is taken as a sample case, how do Music companies receive royalties for their Artists? Is it per genuine views only, if yes, how is it calculated? If that is the case, it could be a deal between the Social Media platforms and Music companies. Often Artists also party to this ‘fake views’. What happens when a genuine Artist asks for Royalties as per the views seen on the Social Media platforms and sues a Record label or Social Media platform? That will be the day, the truth may be out.
We wonder if this is good for any art form especially Music, that real talent is pulled down because they didn’t attempt to buy fake views. Has anyone seen the views many cover version artists or just some idiot with some buffoonery have garnered, compared to the real legends, like Michael Jackson. And we are surprised to see that Michael Jackson has lesser views, what irony. By this barometer does this mean a legend for over 4 decades is less successful? This barometer certifies that anyone who can organize fake views have a bigger audience than a True artist.
This is what happened with an Artist in India and hence nobody will bother, but just like DJ Khalid questioned Billboard’s charts, this is an episode that will surely open up a Pandora’s box. Watch out for more debates on this topic coming up soon.