Post Malone
10.18.2017

Post Malone’s Label Accused of Using Deceptive Tactics to Boost ‘rockstar’

After nabbing his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “rockstar,” Post Malone and his label are being accused of insincere tactics to game the charts.

On Monday (Oct. 17), The FADER reported that a “weird YouTube hack helped” propel the cut to No. 1. The clip in question plays the track’s chorus on a loop, omitting verses, for 3 minutes and 38 seconds, the same amount of time as the full song. Uploaded by Republic Records on Sept. 21, the video now has more than 44 million views.

Billboard acknowledged that the plays have counted towards “rockstar’s” chart success. “U.S. streams for that clip do contribute to our songs charts, the same way an instrumental track or a remix of a song would count towards the main song’s placement if downloaded or streamed,” said the company in a statement (via Genius).

The clip, which has disabled comments, features a link to various other platforms that carry the full song, including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and TIDAL. This could be seen as a way to redirect fans from YouTube, which reportedly pays $0.0006 per stream, to a platform that will earn more money for the label. At $0.0110 per stream, TIDAL pays more and at $0.0038 per stream, Spotify does, as well.

Although Republic has not issued a statement, Post Malone appeared to respond to the accusations on Twitter. “whenever you live your dreams everyone wants to try to take it away from you,” he wrote. “fuck you.”

YouTube will continue to be an important factor on the Billboard charts. Recently, it was reported that YouTube streams, including user-generated content, will factor into the Billboard 200 albums chart.