MAY 23, 2011
ith the new album ready to drop, Gaga enters survival mode, kicking off a week of festivities beginning with 7-day no-interpreted coverage on fuse TV along with major TV appearances on American Idol, SNL and daytime talk show ‘The View’. The digital form of the album drops a day before the originally scheduled ‘New Album Tuesday’ date and becomes the most popular sensation on both iTunes and Amazon.com. But the biggest surprise in the Gaga campaign was just right around the corner. When Tuesday arrives, Amazon.com rolls up their cuffs to make the album the hottest product around by selling the mp3-formatted version for a staggering .99 cents for their ‘Deal of the Day’ promotion. Amazon.com is promoting their new cloud-based music locker service and decides to tag the Born This Way download to their new offer because of the high expectations from her fans. Word quickly leaked through networking websites about the exclusive deal, causing large, insurmountable volumes of traﬃc to the site and leading to a temporary crash of the site’s download systems. Within hours, complaints about slow download speeds were being echoed across the Internet. Some claimed it took over six hours to ﬁn-
ish downloading the digital album. According to statements revealed by Amazon, over 500,000 downloads were actualized on that Tuesday. Because of the mishap with the site and the buzz behind the special offer, Amazon.com announced they would reduplicate the offer on the following Thursday. Certainly the value of digital albums continues to show disturbing signs of deprecation, but the real battle in the digital war is between iTunes and Amazon.com. Both are in heated contests to prove their strongholds in online music retailing, but Amazon.com proved to be the superior in this case. In his write-up over the high-tech debate, Los Angeles Times’ writer Todd Martens wrote that “the value of an album continues to be a nebulous thing, and the digital e-tailer has been a driving force.” He continues: “And here we are, with the fourteen tracks of Born This Way going for the price of a song. The battle may be over market share or cloud-storage dominance, but caught in the crossﬁre will be the price point at which consumers will be willing to pay for an album. Oh, and meanwhile, iTunes is selling Born This Way for $11.99.” It is clearly evident that Amazon wins this battle. Traditional retailers felt the sting from the 1-dollar one-day offer, as they were left selling the prod-
uct for regular price. Although some companies offered exclusive deals like Best Buy (selling the standard version for $7.99, the 22-track special edition for $14.99 or getting the album free with a 2year contract with any mobile phone), the .99 cent offer attracted thousands to Amazon.com’s offer. In the end, Born This Way soars to No. 1, selling 1,108,000 copies on its ﬁrst week and becomes the ﬁrst album in six years to post one-million marks in its ﬁrst week. The upcoming week comes with its own set of challenges.
s predicted by analysts, a major sales drop was just around the corner. Without the Amazon.com’s promotion, Born This Way experienced an 84% drop in record sales (49,000) on its third week, putting the No. 1 debut in eight place on the Billboard 200. Gaga’s major competitor, Adele’s 21, has already sold over 2.4 million since its February release, becoming the biggest-selling album of the year so far. On the third week of Born This Way’s drop, new albums from Jill Scott and Bon Iver now hold the top spots, while Adele’s album hangs on to No. 3, selling more than half of what Gaga sold. The murmuring from Gaga’s toughest critics, even those within the marketplace, starts to get louder as they rush to some conclusion on how Gaga’s No. 1 album underperformed in sales in its following
MY FAIR LADY
In such a short length of time, Lady Gaga’s quest to the top is best observed by the number of hits she’s acquired. Her reign starts to make sense when you look at the numbers.
THE FAME (2008)
THE FAME MONSTER (2008)
BORN THIS WAY (2011)
peaked at #2, BILLBOARD 200 Sold 4.4 million copies in the U.S. Sold 12 million worldwide
peaked at #5 BILLBOARD 200 Sold 1.4 million copies in the U.S.
peaked at #1; BILLBOARD 200 Sold 1.5 million copies in the U.S. Sold 5 million copies worldwide
BORN THIS WAY
THE EDGE OF GLORY
US Australia Canada Ireland UK
US Australia Canada France Germany Ireland Austria New Zealand Swizerland UK
Australia Canada France Germany Ireland UK
Australia Austria Germany
US Australia Austria Canada Germany Ireland New Zealand Swizerland UK
US Canada New Zealand
Published on Aug 4, 2011
Published on Aug 4, 2011
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