On a recent visit to YouTube, Brady Haran, AKA Numberphile, took it upon himself to finally answer the one question that has been bugging Internet users since time immemorial: Why the hell does the YouTube view counter freeze at 301?
Turns out the answer is pretty straightforward: At some point in time, someone at YouTube (they don't remember who) decided that, once a video reached 300 views, a statistical verification process would be initiated to ensure that YouTube's view counter wasn't being gamed.
Since many people use YouTube as a platform to promote their money-making videos, it became necessary to verify that no shenanigans were taking place. Therefore, the counter is temporarily frozen at 301 until the system is positive the views are legit, at which time — about a half-a-day to a day later — it begins allowing the counter to go about its business.
But why 301 and not 300? Skip to 5:50 to find out.