August 21, 2013


Did Lady Gaga Game YouTube for "Applause" Views?

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Lady Gaga really wants your "Applause."

Tuesday night, the singer tweeted a link to her nearly 40 million Twitter followers that led to a YouTube playlist consisting solely of 150 videos of "Applause." The now-deleted tweet asked fans to click "Play" on the playlist, ostensibly adding 150 views for each person if played all the way through.

YouTube views now count in Billboard chart rankings, and Bill Werde, Editorial Director of Billboard, responded to Gaga's strategy Tuesday night, saying it was not "in the spirit of what we chart." 

"It is fine to self-promote, send links to fans, etc. my objection is to playlisting. It seems some fans are unaware such a link was sent. By 'playlisting' I mean a link to 'watch' the same video 150 times: roughly nine straight hours of the same vid. I'm not suggesting [Billboard] will discount credible views. I suspect...YouTube antispam tech will take care of playlisting."

A YouTube spokesperson declined to comment on Gaga's tweet, directing us instead to this blog post on what the site considers a "view." "We consider a view to be an action users want to do," says the post. "A view should be a metric that reflects genuine user interest. In other words, a viewer has a choice, and that choice determines whether or not we count something as a view. It shouldn’t be a gauge of how many people accidentally or unintentionally ended up watching your video."

Gaga replaced the original tweet with a link to "Applause" on Vevo.