Music industry players split on artistes buying views
The matter of buying YouTube views is a topic many artiste managers steer clear of.
Dancehall star TeeJay recently urged his peers to refrain from buying views, posting on his Instagram Story last week that US$400 could get an artiste 100,000 views. With her music video for Exposed now passing the four million views mark since its 2020 release, D'Angel said she does not believe in buying views.
"I believe in generic views 'cause that's the way you can know your fanbase and know what is working for you as an artiste," D'Angel told THE STAR. "I've never bought any views. Generic views prove how hard you are working, and it also proves fans' interaction with your music. I believe in putting in the hard work and getting the reward which goes to show with Exposed, and it's a joy." But Savage Savo said he'd buy views if he knew a supplier.
"Right now, if me did have the link mi woulda use it," he told THE STAR. "It's very difficult when people have the link and nah share it ... . Some bloggers will tell you to create momentum around the videos and it will do this and that, but you know the truth, you know waa gwaan ... . A lot of people have the link, but dem nuh waan give yuh, 'cause dem waan keep down one artiste so their artistes can always shine more."
He does, however, believe it's cheating the system. Savage Savo said artistes who land on YouTube's trending chart through misleading numbers, find favour with DJs and event promoters, which robs opportunities from people who walk the honest route. However, he said the matter is not new, having existed in the form of payola on radio stations before the Internet, and that major record labels do the same thing when they act as promotional machines for artistes.
From a public relations perspective, MIA Production's Nackesha 'Queenie' Doyley does not see buying views as potentially detrimental to an artiste's brand.
"If buying views helps you to achieve something, go ahead and do it," she said. "Many don't 'buy views', as they say, but will pay for their song to top a chart. It's the same thing; just a different avenue of promoting."
Public relations specialist Lemarco 'Prime' Robinson does not believe artistes are necessarily buying views, but marketing their music to wider audiences.
"I think they are just promoting their music in different locations," he said. "If an artiste is already established, I think buying views is not good, because that means you haven't done enough groundwork to make sure your fans are viewing and streaming your stuff. If the artiste is up-and-coming and trying to generate a bigger fan base, I don't find anything wrong with spreading the music."