In today’s music industry, everybody’s going to have their own hustle and strategies to maximize views and engagement. But it’s easier for some than others, and when big labels have the money to buy them, it breaks a balance. Atlantic Records allegedly used bot engagement to boost the numbers of music videos from Lil Uzi Vert, Don Toliver, and more. For example, after Don Toliver’s “Do It Right” music video reached 7.1 million views in a day, many weren’t buying it.
For those of you unfamiliar with bot engagement, it’s a practice where you buy fake accounts and automated “users” to boost views or streams. After the “Do It Right” video in particular, many didn’t believe in such high viewership in a short time. It’s worth noting that four days after the video’s drop, as of writing this article, the video has 7.9 million views. According to screenshots circulating online, it amassed 7.1 million a day after its release.
However, this isn’t to blame Don Toliver in particular, or any artist for that matter. Many see this as tampering from the labels themselves, who have the financial backing and reach to make such purchases. DJ Akademiks took to Twitter to voice his thoughts after many started to call out Atlantic.
“Damn.. Atlantic Records went from being hella lit a few years ago to being s**t. They literally threw in the towell on marketing and promotin their artists..they just buying WILD amounts of fake views…which makin their artists look even worse.”
Ak also shared screenshots of comments sections from Atlantic artists, such as Uzi and Roddy Rich. They were flooded with emojis; mostly hearts and face reactions, but all quite nonspecific. Either it’s a massive coincidence, a trend people haven’t caught on to yet, or bots boosting those engagement numbers.
Also, there’s a bit more proof to this than readers might expect. One of many users who commented on the bot behavior specifically accused Cactus Jack of the practice. The user was later surprised by an account suspension.
Other fans pointed out a similar issue with Uzi’s “Just Wanna Rock” video. However, given the sheer impact of that song and it trending at No. 1 on streaming, it’s less egregious. Not to say that Don doesn’t make impressive numbers, but you can notice when those numbers are from passionate fans and when they’re from fake accounts. Unfortunately, bots and shady business practices to boost numbers are an industry feature, not a bug. They won’t be going away anytime soon.
Atlantic Records strongly denied claims that they use bots in a statement to XXL. Stay tuned to HotNewHipHop to see if we’ll find out for sure.