EDIT 8/24: Apparently, the latest statment on the issue from YouTube staff is
"The current trends you are seeing are accurate, I am diverting the discussion to a thread more focused on the issue at hand. I recommend that you examine your Insight discovery section for further details on your specific case, and contact your partner representative for more details."
This can be interpreted in one of two ways: One way is that they could be saying that people are accurately observing an erroneous decrease in view counts. The other way is that they could be saying that the decreases are accurate and that users should just try to look at their stats and figure out why their views suddenly decreased.
While there appears to be a glimmer of hope in that they still refer to the situation as an "issue", we are going to assume that YouTube's official position at this point is that everything is going fine. Apparently they put in a new "filter" and they are going to keep it. Just about every indicator we can find seems to point to the filter actually filtering out real views but it looks like they're going to stick with it anyways. Some partners are even indicating that their views have dropped substantially but they have moved up in the rankings of most popular partners. It wouldn't surprise me if they applied an overzealous anti-spam filter but they don't want to acknowledge some of the side effects because it could open them up to liability to the partners.
That said, we're going to have to increase prices a bit. We're going to do what we can to step up speed and get orders taken care of as soon as possible.
*END 8/24 UPDATE*
EDIT 8/18: It's fairly clear that there are still problems and the YouTube engineers are trying to fix them. This screenshot was taken at 9AM EST:
Thousands of ratings, major honors, and 0 views. I'm fairly certain that their latest attempt to fix their problems will require acknowledgement and explanation. Stay patient, everyone.
*END 8/18 EDIT*
EDIT #2 8/12: There has finally been a response from YouTube employees. They claim that some view counts have been reduced on videos that had views counted that they decided should not have been counted. Fortunately, the only customers that appear to have been affected are ones that have used other services. As always, we will keep an eye on things.
*END 8/12 EDIT #2*
EDIT 8/12: Well, we have been observing for 2 weeks and there appear to be new developments.
Since YouTube staff announced that things were fixed around July 18th/19th, there have been multiple complaints regarding inaccuracies with viewcounts. They have come from a broad base of users including small-scale users, mid-level partners and high-level partners also appear to be affected. This is not an issue affecting just ViewTubeTrain customers. Again, you can Google "update on viewcount issues" to read the thread on YouTube's support forum. It's important to note that it has been over a week since there was a response from a YouTube employee.
In the past 24 hours, a number of YouTube users on the YouTube forum have actually complained that some of their videos spontaneously LOST views overnight. As far as we know, this is an unprescedented occurrence. Based on a sampling of the videos that we manage, we have only observed a drop in views in maybe 1-2% of videos. However, because this is a new phenomenon, it could become more widespread in the near future just as the frozen views bug occurred.
Based on the evidence, I believe the following: On or around July 11th, there was either a hardware or software update that caused an outage in the viewcount updating system. I believe that the viewcount system is based on tracking raw views on a distributed server network and using a separate distributed server network to sort of "round up" and calculate the views after applying various anti-fraud filters. I believe that the problem affected the "round up" process and that is why they have the capability to revisit the lost days and backfill their orders. I believe that on or around July 19th, they were able to re-enable the "round up" process to unfreeze views and calculate views going forward but didn't immediately have the resources to backfill the lost days. I believe that the backfill process is ongoing and/or inaccurate. I also believe that the July 19th fix included a major bug that has been affecting people's view counts. I think that YouTube has been working to fix this bug and when they rolled out the update it made things worse by lowering the view counts on many videos. It is possible that the view count loss on some videos is only temporary and the lost views will be restored in the near future. At this point, with unprescedented problems, I think YouTube employees will finally have to speak up on the problems and update the YouTube community on the status of their fix.
I acknowledge that I could be wrong and the new viewcount behavior could be part of a new anti-spam software update. I do not, however, believe that is the case. In the past, when YouTube makes a software update, they just tell the community that there has been an update and that the system is working properly. Furthermore, these issues appear to be widespread, affecting many users that do not use any promotional techniques at all. The fact that we haven't heard a peep from YouTube staff on the issue in almost 2 weeks indicates to me that they know there is a problem but they haven't yet found a fix.
Overall, we will do all that we can, which is wait, observe, and experiment. We continue to monitor forums, montior videos and test theories. Our position on paid orders remains as before. We will see all orders through to completion. Delivery is slower than usual but we continue to promote and deliver. We will keep everyone updated on the situation.
*END 8/12 EDIT*
EDIT 7/25: According to a recent YouTube staff post, nearly all videos should be accurately reporting view counts from the 19th on in the PRIVATE insights. There are still issues with the public view count statistics on most videos. They also say that videos uploaded after July 19th should be unaffected.
Of course, the last time they said the problem was resolved, they were in error. We will continue to send views to all active orders and study the results and keep this thread updated.
Right now, it does appear that videos uploaded after the 19th are moving along relatively smoothly. Updates do seem to be moving slower than normal and it doesn't appear that all of the views are completely registering either.
*END 7/25 EDIT*
EDIT 7/24: It appears that YouTube's stat tracking issues will be ongoing for at least another week (as of 7/22). At this point, as opposed to a total view blackout, videos are having very inconsistent results between frozen viewcounts, slow viewcounts, frozen insight stats, slow insight stats and various combinations thereof. For the latest updates, google "update on viewcount issues" and look at the first result.
That said, our policy during the situation remains as described below. We will see every order through to completion. Eventually, this will all end and stats will go back to normal. In the meantime we will keep sending views to your videos.
*END 7/24 EDIT*
OK, so YouTube has officially spelled out their recovery plan after the delayed views debacle last week. Apparently from now on, stats will be kept current but the stats for views from 7/11-7/18 may be delayed for an undetermined amount of time.
FAST VIEWS CUSTOMERS:
As you were probably notified by email, we delivered your orders immediately after they were received and thus they will fall into the affected time period. I have to say that we expected things to be processed in a first-in-first-out manner rather than sort of leaving a "hole" in people's stats to be filled in later.
That said, your fast views orders were delivered and it's just a matter of when YouTube gets to counting the views. Of course, it must be very displeasing to see your viewcounts remain stuck. We want you to be as satisfied as possible. While we can't afford to re-deliver your complete orders, we will deliver bonus views to all affected fast views orders in proportion to your original order. This means if you ordered 1,000 fast views, you'll get at least a few hundred and if you ordered 10,000 fast views, you'll get at least a couple thousand. We hope this can tide you over until YouTube processes the rest of the views.
We will be delivering the fast views bonuses within the next 24-48 hours. We do have a number of affected orders so please try to allow 72 hours for stats to update.
NORMAL VIEWS CUSTOMERS:
We were delivering views all through last week. All orders were processed immediately. If your order was affected, you probably have 1,000-3,000 views that will be credited to your video at a later date when YouTube gets to the backlogged stats.
What we will do with normal orders is continue to process them like normal until they reach target delivery. For many of you, this will probably mean that when all views are counted, you'll end up with a good number of bonus views to your order, probably in the thousands.
I hope this answers any related questions anyone might have.