Here's a great YouTube scam:
- Set up a playlist to play your video 150 times in a row
- Ask your fans to click it and let it play through
- Hope it's enough to impact the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, which now include YouTube video plays
It's certainly cheaper than radio payola or buying and then warehousing thousands of albums, but alas, Billboard ain't buying those views. And advertisers aren't either, which is why YouTube filters them out.. But, let's get to how this involves Lady Gaga...
Another hubub got kicked up this week due to this now infamous Gaga tweet:
Monster to do: 1. Go here: http://t.co/7cuIR5pHnP 2. Click on "Play" 3. Retweet this 4. Copy this and pass it on— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 21, 2013
Seems harmless — just smart promotion and fan engagement — but apparently that link originally went to a playlist that looped the video 150 times. Which could have been a mistake — she did delete it very quickly, and apologized for not checking the link — but also could have been a scheme (!) to help "Applause" impact the Billboard charts.
Billboard chart master Bill Werde took notice and, while treading lightly in terms of the intent, he did made a very public ruling:
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.— Bill Werde (@bwerde) August 21, 2013
The conversation went on from there, with Werde offering all sorts of insights into YouTube and the Charts, like:
- Giveaway tracks don't count (eg: a Pepsi promotion)
- Multiple views per person count, but playlisted or other auto-repeat views are filtered out via YouTube
So, here's the take away: When you watch a video incessantly those views indeed count toward the charts to some degree. But, if you've set up a bot or something else that results in clearly nonhuman viewing patterns, then Google/YouTube/Vevo/Billboard is likely gonna ignore your data.
PS: If you watch the video because of this post, it counts. I think.