YouTube‘s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, said that the platform will no longer count videos of looped snippets of songs toward streaming tallies.
The pronouncement follows a controversy earlier this year involving the rapper Post Malone, who scored a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with his hit single, “Rockstar.” Initially, many attributed the success to a YouTube video shared by Post’s record label, Republic Records, featuring the chorus of the track on a loop and a link to stream the full track elsewhere in the video’s description box. For his part, Post denied the allegations — and other factors appear to have contributed to the ascension of “Rockstar.” That said, the incident led Billboard to decrease the weight of YouTube streams within its Hot 100 ranking.
Now, YouTube is weighing in. “We’ve stopped that from happening,” Cohen told Pitchfork of the deceptive, looping videos. A YouTube spokesperson clarified: “Loop videos that feature misleading and inaccurate metadata violate YouTube policies and we are actively working to have them removed. Further, any upload of a song intended to mislead a user (preview, truncated, looped) posted on YouTube to look like the original song will not contribute to any charts.”
Post’s looping “Rockstar” video — as well as a similar clip for Migos’ “MotorSport” — have since been removed from the platform, Pitchfork reports.