If you were to ask which musician has consistently dominated YouTube’s music rankings, most people would guess a pop sensation like Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, or Drake. Most people would be wrong. As it turns out, Baton Rouge rapper NBA YoungBoy aka YoungBoy Never Broke Again holds the crown.
The southern rapper has mastered using YouTube to its fullest capacity. His page has 6.93 million subscribers and is growing rapidly. In just the last month, he’s uploaded five videos, ranging from 2 million to 15 million views. His latest video, “Bad Bad,” was uploaded just 3 days ago and already has over 6 million views. It’s evident that NBA YoungBoy fans know exactly where to go when they want new content from their favorite rapper — his YouTube page. This could be because YouTube is where YoungBoy often uploads his new music first.
Just one look at YouTube Music’s chart and you’ll instantly see NBA YoungBoy’s presence. His videos “Bad Bad” and “Fine By Time” are the top two trending videos in the United States.
Over the last week, with a total of 48.1 million views, NBA YoungBoy was the most played artist on YouTube in the United States, followed by Roddy Rich, Eminem, Rod Wave, and Future.
NBA YoungBoy has been able to maintain a high position on YouTube’s Music Charts since 2019, at one point being the most-watched artist across all genres and did it all without fancy marketing tactics, huge promotion budgets or the use of social media viral campaigns.
Last year, YoungBoy beat out Post Malone, Kevin Gates, Billie Eilish, and Lil Baby for the ranking of overall most-viewed artist.
It could be considered that NBA YoungBoy’s success on YouTube is a testament to his fanbase. He doesn’t rank nearly as high on traditional music streaming platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music, likely because those platforms require a subscription.
On Spotify, for example, Post Malone, Drake, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, and Khalid made up the platforms Top 5 streamed artists of 2019.
For YoungBoy fans who do not have credit cards because they’re too young, or may simply not want to pay to stream his music, YouTube is free (for them) to enjoy without having to so much as create an account. There’s also the fact that NBA YoungBoy provides consistency in his YouTube uploads, which his fanbase seems to enjoy. There is no shortage of videos on his YouTube page, which adds to the number of views and the amount of time spent browsing. YoungBoy not only releases his official music videos on the platform. He also uses it to release audio.
Unfortunately, YouTube still falls far behind in terms of paying creators. YouTube pays $0.00074 per view, which means one would have to reach over 2 million views just to make the monthly minimum wage. It’s definitely safe to say NBA YoungBoy’s not living lavishly off YouTube checks.
At $0.01682 per play, online radio platform Pandora has the highest per-stream rate followed by TIDAL at $0.01284 per stream, Apple Music at $0.00735 per stream, and Spotify at $0.00473 per stream.
On the bright side, Billboard has recently begun counting YouTube video data towards the Billboard 200 chart rankings in the same manner they include streams from paid and unpaid users of Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc. This means that there are many more future opportunities for YoungBoy to dominate the Billboard 200 charts if he keeps up the momentum.