‘Anti-K-Pop’ YouTube Algorithm Change Applauded by Japanese

The new YouTube chart after algorithm change

**Update: For those of you keeping up with PSY’s Gangnam Style and the YouTube algorithm change, the popularity of PSY’s video was soon restored, despite this Japanese press report. See here for more information.**

The recent YouTube algorithm change made huge waves among Japanese netizens when it was announced on October 12. The change, which involves the formation of search rankings based on how long viewers watch a video rather than the number of times a video link is clicked, has seen netizens welcoming the decision as an ‘anti K-Pop’ strategy.

In particular, the new search algorithm caused Korean rapper PSY’s viral video ‘Gangnam Style’ fall out of the top 100 and into YouTube oblivion, much to the delight of some netizens. However, some have pointed out that YouTube’s recent innovation may result in preferential treatment of longer videos, while shorter videos will not gain much viewer attention since they will not be prominently displayed on the site.

From Livedoor News:

YouTube System Changes, PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Drops from Number One to Outside the Top 100 Videos, Korean Media Doesn’t Report This

It is understood that YouTube search results have been changed so that rankings are no longer based on the number of reloads but on the time the video was watched.

According to the Korean media site BLOTER.NET, on October 12 Google explained that the algorithm that decides video search results, recommended videos, and related videos, has changed. Until now, the higher the number of views the more prominently a video was displayed, but from now on this will be decided by the amount of time a video is viewed. They explained that the reason that the algorithm was changed:

The YouTube video search system was based on the number of clicks[…] However, recently viewers have become concerned, and this led to a situation where videos with a high number of clicks were given preference over those that were being appreciated enjoyably by viewers.

Due to the system being changed, screens and titles that were made in order to incite more clicks have become fewer, and the content of the video is being focused on. It is also highly likely that this will reduce meaninglessly clicking on links just to increase the click-count.

PSY and the YouTube algorithm

Image Source: NMR

With regards t the number of YouTube views, the music video for the song ‘Gangnam Style‘ sung by Korean singer PSY recently maintained its number one spot. Its click count went over four billion clicks. Various Korean media outlets reporting ‘PSY’s Gangnam Style Breaks Through the Four Billion Mark, Will He Become a YouTube Legend?’, ‘PSY’s Gangnam Style Gets Four Billion Views, A Record in Only 86 Days’ and so on, conveying extensively the fact that ‘Gangnam Style’ had garnered popularity on a global scale.

However, following the system change, ‘Gangnam Style’ has fallen suddenly outside the top 100, not to mention the top 10 (as of 4pm on October 16). At present, it is even unknown as to what rank the video is at.

On the Japanese internet, the point of view regarding this system change is that it is a countermeasure against Korean artists who have extraordinarily high click counts. Certainly, the click counts for music videos published by Korean artists, beginning with ‘Gangnam Style’, are so high that it seems out of place.

The recent YouTube system change has barely been reported in the Korean media. BLOTER.NET, who were the only site to report this, is a digital media site that uploads articles by Korean bloggers researching specialist fields, and the major Korean media outlets, the kind that all reported PSY’s YouTube record, have yet to deal with this at all. While this might seem reasonable, they have also failed to convey the fact that PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ has fallen outside the top 100.

Comments from Itai News:

Posted by   : (Note: A blank means “anonymous”.)


Posted by :


Posted by 名無し:

As I expected

Posted by :

Korean, eh?

Posted by ★★★:

Yup, I knew it.

Posted by   :

Korea can go extinct too wwwww

Posted by   :   

Thought so.

Posted by ななし :

I’m more surprised by the fact that the almighty YouTube didn’t have some anti-cheat strategy for this until now.

Posted by あ :

If they’re focusing on viewing time, does this mean that long videos will have an advantage? If they’re too long, we’ll probably get fed up, though.

Posted by   :

There never was any substance to it.
Just like the country it came from.

Posted by   :

Play-time is over, Paks/Parks of Korea.

Posted by   :

So, the day of judgement has come to expose those cheating bastards, eh?

Posted by 名無しさん :

Seems like hits from the same IP address don’t count either.

Posted by   :

This shows up the entire nation, it’s too embarrassing w

Posted by :

This will go down in YouTube history. Hilarious story ww

Posted by   :

Well, X JAPAN’S ART OF LIFE will never ever enter the rankings then.

Posted by :

Can they get rid of the K-Pop genre entirely already?

Posted by 名無しだZさん :

What? What style did you say it was? w

Posted by   :

What’s PSY? Three line explanation, please.

Posted by あ :

World, this is Korea!

Posted by ☆ :

Gundam Style w [a popular Japanese YouTube parody of ‘Gangnam Style’.]

Posted by あはは :

The gooks are so stupid. But the Japanese people who have been fooled and who listen to Gook-pop should be more ashamed. I mean you, you old Korean-wave hags.

Posted by 名無し :

I suppose that they cheat the system in a group by making a script that opens multiple tabs and then reloads every minute w

Posted by :

Still, I won’t accept that fake country. I hope a world exists after death.

Posted by  :

Wah! That’s embarrassing.
Koreans don’t often hate their own country [aren’t likely to be embarrassed by this].
If it was me, I’d be so embarrassed I’d never leave the country.

What do you think? Of the algorithm change? Of how it has affected ‘Gangnam Style’s’ ranking? Does it suggest that ‘Gangnam Style’ was manipulated? That Koreans somehow cheated in making it popular?

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