The Post Malone featuring 21 Savage track "Rockstar" spent eight weeks atop the Billboard chart.
It would have been an enormous hit no matter what. But Post's label Republic Records also used a YouTube hack to jumpstart its streams.
The label put a 3:38 second (the length of the song) loop of the "Rockstar"'s chorus on their YouTube page. A view of "Rockstar"s loop video registered on the charts in the same way that a view on a remix or an instrumental track would. At the time, Republic had no proper video for "Rockstar" on YouTube and instead attached paid-tier links to the song on the loop video.
Motown records -- which like Republic is under Universal -- tried the same trick with the Migos track "MotorSport"
YouTube has now closed that loophole. Pitchfork reports:
“Loop videos that feature misleading and inaccurate metadata violate YouTube policies and we are actively working to have them removed. Further, any upload of a song intended to mislead a user (preview, truncated, looped) posted on YouTube to look like the original song will not contribute to any charts.” YouTube's global head of music Lyor Cohen confirmed "We've stopped that from happening."
Billboard recently said all YouTube views will be de-emphasized in their charts starting in 2018. Perhaps this is YouTube's attempt to get back in Billboard's good graces.