Buying views hits Zambia music: How to detect fake YouTube views

Malawi Musician Namadingo

Buying of YouTube views has hit Zambia where one of the Malawi music heavyweights Patience Namadingo established his base this year.

The issue, which started as a storm in a teacup, has now turned to a tornado or hurricane fake-views after Yo Maps hit 5 million views with his Pick It Up just 9 months after he uploaded the song on YouTube.

“Seems buying views and using bots is becoming a trend in Zed now. Is it Industry Pressure or it’s the new normal?” tweeted Roberto, a upcoming artist in Zambia.

While Roberto did not mention any artist, some people on Twitter wondered whether he had specific artists he was targeting with his tweet.

Others alleged that the upcoming artist was throwing shade at Yo Maps who has over 13 million views on his official YouTube channel.

Yo Maps’ Komando got 1 million views after clocking just 3 weeks on YouTube. The artist’s Blessings Flow’s audio upload and official music video got about one million and five hundred views each within 6 months. He has about 110 thousand subscribers to his YouTube channel.

Yo Maps who has less than 3 thousand followers on Twitter is yet to comment on the issue.

The storm is yet to hit Malawi music. But other commentators believe it is just a matter of time before Hurricane FakeViews hit some of the local artists.

Malawi has few musicians with a million tag on YouTube. Namadingo leads the pack as the alpha musician. He has more than 17 million views on his channel.

Mango, the song he premiered last Friday, has already clocked 70 thousand views and it is moving at the speed of light with views.

How to detect fake YouTube views?

Fake views are easy to detect just as they are easy to get. It only takes a couple of dollars to buy thousands or more YouTube views from spammy companies. It is a multimillion industry, the New York Times found.

Musicians and influencers indulge in the malpractice to make their videos or music seem more popular than it really is.

But once a video is uploaded, its views peak within the first 6 months depending on the artist’s budget. Thereafter, the song stops generating more new views as payment for bots to automate views or fake viewers run out.

It would bankrupt a person to retain new fake views over an extended period of time. Eventually, payment for those fake views stops.

The issue of fake views has plagued YouTube for years.

However, YouTube prohibits buying of fake views.

“Content and channels that don’t follow this policy may be terminated and removed from YouTube”, reads part of the statement issued the company.

The company has put up measures to identify spam and fake views and the consequences are dire should some local artists attempt to go that way.

In addition to losing one’s channel, fake views do not bring revenue to the artists.

Musicians employ fake views on YouTube only command a handful of views on music streaming platforms such as Tidal, Amazon Music, Spotify and Apple Music.



  1. Roberto is not an upcoming musician. He is one of Zambias top long standing musicians put some respect on his name

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