In 2012, a YouTube user with the name 'PewDiePie' uploaded a hilarious video on the platform. It was all about Minecraft. As trivial as it seems, the video is what seemed to be a young fellow snickering genuinely at a hapless zombie that was stuck on a tree. Four years later, PewDiePie's channel is the most subscribed account on YouTube.
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, is a Swedish gamer, comedian, vlogger, and a YouTube celebrity who likes video games and puts on record commentaries and hilarious facial expressions.
Since 2013, PewDiePie has the most subscribers on YouTube, with more than 42 million accounts following him. His channel has held the top post since late December 2013 when it exceeded YouTube's Spotlight channel.
Many believe it is impressive but many forums believe that PewDiePie might be engaging in dirty tactics in keeping his metrics up.
While it may not be a surprise nowadays, you can actually buy YouTube engagements (votes, views, comments, subscribers) in order for your videos or brands to appear to have huge following, more than the account actually has (at least organically).
In PewDiePie's case, reason tells you that he may want to have a stronger brand of himself by a rapid increase in followers. If you think about it, YouTube is a great place to kickstart your brand.
Many have admitted that they bought engagements on YouTube to promote themselves. It definitely adds social proof – to show that they have a huge following or have some sort of influence on social media.
Since most platforms work on algorithm, having superb metrics places your rank on search engines higher. If your real focus is more on the quantitative side – to have more followers and views, then purchasing YouTube views is the way to go. But if your focus is more qualitative, getting organic views to kick off your popularity is the other way.
Does It Work?
A quick search on any search engine will bring you a lists of online companies selling you the service with somewhat similar offers in various packages. There are some offering you as cheap as $10 for about 5,000 views. These companies offer additional views, likes, comments, and 'authentic' subscribers. 'Authentic' users have basic information needed to create accounts. Of course, these are different from legitimate accounts of real people who use YouTube on a daily basis.
What are they really? They are bots or servers logged into different accounts coming from various IP addresses. Comments are machine-generated as well.
Why does it not work if you want to build an authentic community of subscribers?
Comments are a trouble. It is easy to spot on automatically generated comments. These are usually full of grammatical errors or stitched phrases that make no sense. Apart from that, comments may actually flood your feed and give you a hard time looking for the legitimate ones.
They don't add to the clout. While improving your metrics, they do not necessarily share your content outside of YouTube or share it with real people. As they are manufactured accounts, they do not have a legitimate community subscribing to the content thus even if they share yours on their feeds, nobody sees it. Discussion on your video content also hampers intellectual or artistic discussion as they could not respond.
It looks apparent. Since your comments section is a mix of several phrases or keywords to give you higher rankings on search engines, it looks pretty obvious to a legitimate user. A comment from a real person will have a personal touch of who that person is.
Why It Works
Buying YouTube views is practical when you make a new campaign from scratch and want to kick off your social proof. If you do not have a strong following at the moment or a social media team to work on this, purchasing views may be a good way to deal with kicking off your YouTube channel.
While it gives you good metrics, you also have to share it widely across social media platforms. Views are shown when you embed your video online. Higher views may spark curiosity among other people and could actually invite them to watch what you have in store for them.
This is simply called the bandwagon effect. By seeming to have good number of views, other people would think that you have a good impression on YouTube and that there are other people who follows you. What happens is that when one from their networks sees your video and share this, they will join the bandwagon and see from themselves what is on your video. With that, your bought YouTube views not only increase by purchasing your metrics, but also organically.
Purchasing views is also good if you want to go viral. It may not necessarily make you viral right then and there (because if it does, then many people would have been doing that instantly to claim their fame!) but it could spark one person who could share it outside of YouTube at the right place and at the right time. Having good social media metrics then, will keep the curiosity of others to actually watch your video.
Remember, if you are only focused on increasing your impressions, then this is a good way to go. Do not expect much in terms of the qualitative impact of your views as you will have a hard time targeting real people who follow you.
Who Uses Bought Views?
It is still a taboo. You may think that nobody buys YouTube views but several people do in entertainment. In some cases, record labels purchase views to kick off their new artist, albums or singles to have good metrics and simulate their fame. Numbers are important in the industry as popularity is an indicator whether an artist sells.
At the end of the day, you have to prioritize your focus. Are you after the numbers or are you after the quality of fans following you? Good luck!