Gaga Days: $.99 Cents at Amazon, ‘The View’ & ‘SNL’

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Posted May 23, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in News
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Lady Gaga flexes her muscles on Week One of Born This Way‘s album drop

In case you didn’t know, Gaga domination has begun.

Fuse TV began the publicity rush with a week long Gaga-thon last week, preparing us all for what’s to come. With three singles already released (“Born This Way,” “Judas,” “The Edge of Glory”), Born This Way, Gaga’s second full-length studio album, is now ready for its chart debut. And Gaga – no stranger to making headlines – is ready to shatter records.

Monday, May 23, 2011 arrives and the digital album is already out a day before the original Tuesday drop date. The mp3 version is already the No. 1 selling product at iTunes. Amazon.com is already rolling up their cuffs to make the album the hottest product around by selling the mp3-formatted version for only $0.99 cents. Certainly the value of digital albums continue to show disturbing signs of deprecation, but the battle is really between iTunes and Amazon.com. Both are in heated contests to prove their values, but Amazon.com may have the upper hand with this one.

In light of the 99 cent offer, Los Angeles Times’ writer Todd Martens brings up some valuable points to the high-tech debate:

The value of an album continues to be a nebulous thing, and the digital e-tailer has been a driving force. The low-low-low price points have been a bid by Amazon to increase its market share against Apple’s dominant iTunes store, as well as to convert users to its cloud drive (free 20 gigs for those who drop a buck for Gaga). The cloud drive allows users to store purchased music and upload files they already own for listening elsewhere…And here we are, with the 14 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.

With all the noise now bubbling up in the marketplace, Gaga’s power seems to show no signs of deprecation. Forbes magazine ranked the famed superstar at No. 1 on their “Celebrity 100,” bumping Queen of Talk Oprah Winfrey to second place. That much power probably explains why Gaga can sale a CD for a buck and why she’s taking all the airtime. A live performance on the finale of American Idol is still in the plans, but Gaga isn’t stopping there.

She recently appeared as a guest on the season finale of Saturday Night Live, joining up with SNL regular Justin Timberlake for a funny skit celebrating the spirits. On Monday, Gaga sat down with the ladies of The View for an entire hour, talking about her celebrity, outrageous over-the-top costumes and snippets on her spirituality. It was definitely another chance for Barbara Walters to remind the public of her breakout interview with Gaga on her 2009 “Most Fascinating People” special, but Gaga – dressed in her high-platform black boots and with her latest cross-wearing hairpiece – quickly shifted the attention back to her. She proved once and for all that she’s the real fame monster and like a looped sound byte, declared on the set that “she was born this way.”

Born This Way is expected to land at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Billboard magazine recently reviewed each of the album’s tracks  in their weekly “Track By Track” section. With Amazon’s surprising 99 cent special, there hasn’t been an official statement released from analysts on how many copies the album will sale. But it will definitely misplace Adele’s best-selling 21 album, possibly sending it to number two. However, Gaga’s power won’t thrust Adele from the top spot at Billboard’s Hot 100, where “Rolling In the Deep” continues to reign.

MORE GAGA DOMINATION:

Best Buy is featuring a Gaga special this week. The standard CD version is available for $7.99, the 22-track special edition is on sale for $14.99 or you can get the album for free if you purchase any mobile phone with a 2-year contract.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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