Advertisers on YouTube are locked in a fierce competition for viewer eyeballs. To catch an edge on their competition, many are willing to try whatever it takes to make sure their videos get viewed. As a result, buying YouTube views has become a standard tactic for those looking to build a following on the platform. The view-buying industry, however, is shrouded in secrecy and many buyers may be unclear if they’re breaking the law — or just the rules.
Since we started this site, we’ve had readers come to us with questions about the basic legality of buying views. Let’s cover the basics in the rest of this article.
Is it illegal?
No, of course not. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for buying views, and there is no law against it (anywhere). If there were, you wouldn’t have people openly writing articles about doing it nor would there be review sites like this one clearing up the facts about the industry. Although it’s not against the law, it’s not in line with YouTube's Terms of Service and you should be careful if you’re going to do it.
YouTube's policy on buying views
YouTube's policy states that it’s against YouTube's Terms of Service for any user to commission third parties to automatically generate views for their videos. This is known as Viewcount Gaming.
It is also against YouTube policy to manipulate or incentivize other users to watch your videos. This happens, for instance, when webmasters place deceptive layouts on third-party websites with unrelated elements that trick users into playing YouTube videos that are being promoted.
Additionally, YouTube states that it’s wrong for website administrators to serve pop unders that appear under current windows and have URLs that change in the middle of a click-to-play video. YouTube considers this as tricking viewers.
However, it is important to note that in the past couple of years, YouTube has moved to an almost exclusively content-based video judgment/punishment system. This is because when people realized that YouTube was removing videos with bought views, they started buying views for their competitors – oops. As a result, it’s now nearly impossible to have your video removed as a result of bought views. If YouTube detects Viewcount gaming, they may remove the purchased views, but will not remove the video unless it violates YouTube’s Content Terms of Service.
So why do people do it?
So why do people do it? Though it is a risky tactic, buying views offers a number of advantages. First and foremost, buying views helps kickstart your video's viewership. On YouTube, no user wants to be the first one to try out a video that has zero views, unless you have already built a strong following for your channel. As such, getting the first views for a new video is a very difficult thing, yet it’s critical to the video's success. When you buy views, you give your video this critical boost, giving it the initial momentum required to attract organic views.
The second reason many YouTubers buy views is because of something known as social proof, which is when a person is influenced by the perceptions or actions of other people around them. For instance, if you were walking down the street and all of the sudden everyone stopped and stood still, chances are you are going to do the same thing. This is something that is ingrained deep into the human psyche. The practice of buying views taps into this psychological driver to influence people to watch your videos. When your video has a high view count, it shows that other users find the video to be interesting and of good quality. As a result, more people will be likely to watch the video.
How to effectively buy views
Though buying views can be the secret to your success on YouTube, you should not forget that it also can be a risky tactic. Should you decide to go buy views, just be careful. The truth is that a large number of YouTubers do buy views, and there are companies that operate within the confines of YouTube’s policy. This is our main driver here at ViewsReviews: to help you distinguish a good provider from one that will hurt your account.
Good vendors will offer consistent and spread out views that are almost indiscernible from genuine, organic views. On the other hand, buying views from a low-quality source will most probably get you views from bot accounts, which are highly detectable and could lead to the deletion of your video, or termination of your account. In some cases, you might even get scammed out of the money you tried to buy the views with, and get left with nothing to show but a few dollars less in your wallet.
To recap, buying views isn’t illegal. Nobody is going to arrest you or give you a fine. However, it is against YouTube’s user agreement, so you should be careful if you’re going to do it.
A good way to be careful is to avoid low-quality sellers and instead go for websites that you can trust. To avoid falling into the low-quality vendor trap, you should always check previous clients' reviews of websites that sell YouTube views. For good examples of reliable vendors, check out our Top 10 YouTube Views Providers.