Post Malone's new hit may have gamed the system.
post Malone's new collaboration with 21 Savage, "Rockstar," has certainly made him feel like one thus far. After breaking Apple Music's single week streaming record, it proceeded to knock Cardi B’s hit single "Bodak Yellow" off its perch atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As the new No. 1 song in the country, "Rockstar" has help catapult Posty to heights of fame that may have been previously thought to be unattainable, but there's a catch to all of this: the streaming numbers that the track has relied on to go to the top of the chart may not be entirely accurate.
As per a report from Fader, a YouTube upload that is just a loop of the well-known chorus for 3 minutes and 38 seconds (the same length as the actual song's running time) may have given the song a boost in stats by exploiting a loophole in the system. As it stands right now, the YouTube clip does not feature any of the verses, but instead provides a link so you can bump the track using your favorite streaming service. This definitely isn’t the standard procedure when it comes to artists and labels using the video housing site as a means to promote their music. Moreover, the chorus-only video is quickly approaching 50 million views, clicks that are still being counted as streams of the original song.
Perhaps more importantly, this video also ranks first in the results list following a Google search for the song. As the report lays out, a view of this YouTube clip is on the same footing as a Spotify, Apple Music or similar streaming play, even though content-wise they're clearly not the same thing. just as a play on any other streaming service would. Whether it was intentionally done or not, Republic Records may have helped Malone and 21 Savage game the system and inflate their play count to the point where its true distinction as a No. 1 song may be questioned.
As the saying goes, don't hate the player, hate the game. A smart promotional strategy? Within the confines of the business, it can be seen as that sure. However, this may now also be the last time such a loophole can be exploited in such fashion.