This past Monday, Post Malone’s ‘Rockstar’ topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, overtaking Cardi B’s viral hit ‘Bodak Yellow’. It is Malone and the guest artist 21 Savage’s first number 1 on the chart and achieved the spot after spending three weeks at no. 2.
A major chunk of the song’s sales units are attributed to streaming figures and that has resulted from a strange YouTube trick which might have helped the song go this big online. Post’s label Republic Records uploaded a YouTube video on September 21 which features the chorus of the song for 3 minutes and 38 seconds, the same duration as the full song (posted below).
The YouTube clip does not feature any of the verses from either artist but instead encourages you to hit up your favorite sreaming service in the link’s description, to hear the full song. This isn’t the norm when it comes to labels and artists promoting their song on YouTube. We are more used to seeing either the full song uploaded on the service or a clip in the form of a preview/teaser. This looped chorus of ‘Rockstar’ for 3:38 has a massive 43 million views and is growing at almost a million a day rate at the moment. It also ranks number 1 for a search on Google for the song. As Fader notes, a view of this YouTube clip counts as a stream for the charts, just as a play on any other streaming service would.
Is this a smart promo strategy by the label or just a trick by exploiting the loophole? We don’t know yet but we’re Post Malone and 21 Savage aren’t complaining. Earlier this month, it was reported that Billboard is considering counting YouTube views into their Album chats as well.