In recent times, users who spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos could notice that the view count often stopped at 301, which led to all kinds of theories, from a malfunction of the site to numerology beliefs. The explanation is rather simple, after a certain amount of views is reached by a video, the counter stops at that number to verify the correct count so it can distinguish if the increasing amount of views has to do with some automated process rather than real users. YouTube engineers start tracking the views near the end user to detect unusual patterns and determine the real viewership. As to why they chose that number, it has to do with how much they thought the database could handle without a problem.
Also, the views that count are those that play most of the video, not those that just click on it by a misleading title or description. This measure ensured that the videos that got really popular or viral really fast were actually making any sort of impact among viewers. Now, through an infographic on the YouTube Creators Twitter account, they have shared that the views stopping at 301 is now a thing of the past. They explain how the system worked and how it will work from now. They're confident that their new process counts only the views coming from real people, so the counter will show the views almost in real time so content creators can know how well their videos are doing instantly.
Another reason that they want to make sure that real users are watching YouTube videos is that videos with lots of views are the ones to get promoted to the front page, so videos that doesn't deserve it could end up getting a lot of promotion. They actually see the views as currency, so it's in their best interest to filter the ones that are genuine. YouTube has been updated recently to look better and some enhancements have been made as well, but this one is particularly useful for creators so that they can improve on the content they offer.