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Lady Gaga Criticized By Billboard Official for ’Applause’ Contest

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Aug 21, 2013
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A Billboard official is calling out Lady Gaga for urging her fans to watch the music video for her new single "Applause" multiple times and to purchase several copies of the single, in hopes to boost the song on the pop charts.

As the Huffington Post reports, last week Gaga held a contest that encouraged Little Monsters to buy several copies of "Applause." The singer took to Twitter to tell her fans that the one with the most "purchase/gift screenshots, radio requests, ’Applause’ selfies/video" will be flown to meet Mother Monster and attend the iTunes Festival in London.

Some believe the "campaign" is to push "Applause" to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. On Tuesday night, Gaga tweeted out the link to the single’s music video, telling fans to watch the clip 150 times in a row.

HuffPo reports the tweet has been deleted, however. It is unsure if the "contest" will continue.

"Monster to do: 1. Go here: http://vevo.ly/2pKwOC 2. Click on "Play" 3. Retweet this 4. Copy this and pass it on," she told her nearly 40 million Twitter followers. Before that tweet, she wrote, "Applause is back at #1 on the worldwide charts! & we’re just getting started. Back to rehearsal *pounds boxing gloves+hifives Sedgwick Swan*"

Though the Haus of Gaga has apparently been trying to get the song to chart high, Billboard’s Bill Werde has a problem with the way the pop singer and her team are going about it. He took to Twitter to criticize Gaga, saying, "I just hate to see anyone try to game the charts, be it fans or artists. It’s not in the spirit of what we do, celebrating success."

"We count multiple views per person. Go to Vevo and keep watching a video on your own and we count it," Werde, Billboard’s editorial director, wrote. "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."

"Tweeting that other artists game the system is like telling a cop other people were speeding. When we catch it we stop it," he continued.

He added that he didn’t want his tweets to be taken out of context and says streaming music videos is only "a portion of Hot100 and surely overwhelming percent of views have been well-earned."

"I just hate to see anyone try to game the charts, be it fans or artists. It’s not in the spirit of what we do, celebrating success," Werde said. "Just need to keep playlisted data off chart. Gaga fans sending me threats and profanity: don’t you think this is why she deleted that link?"

He said he has no problem with Gaga for self-promoting but takes issue with the singer telling the Little Monsters to watch the clip 150 times in a row. Werde said he’s a fan of Gaga and loves "Applause" but believes "in transparency & dialog."

In related Gaga news, the musician told New York radio station KTU that all the songs on "ARTPOP," out Nov. 11, could be smash singles and that the tracks are very radio friendly. She also said the LP is like "one long night at the club" and that one of the cuts is called "Sex Dreams," which she was considering to be the first single.

"It’s going to make you want to drink and party," she told the radio show about "ARTPOP." "I really wanted to make this album something that my fans will remember forever.

When asked about her upcoming performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga said it would be the "most physically challenging performance I’ve ever done."

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