Earlier this year, Billboard adjusted its chart calculation to include video streams, which helped memes like “Harlem Shake” get to the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Now Billboard’s editorial director is accusing one pop superstar of encouraging her fans to “fix” the charts through inflated YouTube views and a chance to meet Lady Gaga in exchange for purchasing her latest single. In a series of tweets, Bill Werde accused Lady Gaga of trying to manipulate the Billboard charts by holding a contest to encourage her fans to buy copies of her latest single “Applause” and encouraging them to watch her latest music video multiple times.
Werde said on Twitter that Billboard counts multiple views per person and criticized her actions: “An artist tweeting out and facebooking a link that enables a fan to hit play and leave their computer is not in the spirit of what we chart.”
He cited a recent tweet by Lady Gaga, which tell her fans – or “monsters” – to play and retweet the link so other fans can inflate the number of views. Digital Spy reported that some fans made playlists that included the “Applause” video 150 times over and playing the stream overnight.
Werde added: “Tweeting that other artists game the system is like telling a cop other people were speeding. When we catch it we stop it. Please keep this in context. Streaming is only a portion of Hot100 and surely overwhelming percent of views have been well-earned.”
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