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There is no doubt in denying that Lady Gaga knows what hooks her fans in, so when it came time for her to promote her newest album, she pulled out all the stops.
As a reward for her shameless self-promotion, her newest album, Born This Way, had the highest ranking first week album sales in the past six years: 1.11 million copies of her new album were sold in its first week of distribution.
“Whenever an album sells so much in one week, people ask if it’s an indication of something broader,” said Keith Caulfield, Billboard‘s associate director of charts/retail. “She is a true pop superstar, ostensibly the biggest in the past three years. Every single is a hit. Every video is a water-cooler moment. All eyes are on Gaga.”
Lady Gaga is the first person to reach the million mark since Taylor Swift, who sold a million copies of her newest album Speak Now in its first week of distribution in November 2010. She is the only person to have actually sold over a million copies since 2005, when 50 Cent’s The Massacre sold 1.14 million.
Whether it was arriving to an awards show in an egg, dancing around in a latex outfit, having a threesome with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samburg in a Saturday Night Live short or going on morning and late-night talk shows, she was able to gain an astounding amount of publicity. Google Chrome even featured an ad that was all about the Mother Monster.
It probably didn’t hurt that she sold the whole album on Amazon for 99 cents, either. Amazon frequently offers deals on new and hit albums by selling them for $2.99. An average album costs between eight and 12 dollars on the website. There was such a response to the sale that the Amazon servers slowed.
“We saw extraordinary response — far above what we expected,” says Amazon spokeswoman Cat Griffin. “We’ve never seen this much interest in one album in such a short period.”
Ean Mering of Pomegranate, a digital media network agency, said a low-price strategy could have future benefits.
“This pricing approach will prove to be a great case study,” said Mering. “This is good move that could open up Gaga to audiences who would not previously have purchased a $7.99 record.”
“Amazon’s promotion was a great way to catch people who might have turned to other means (like cloud systems or illegal downloads) to listen to the new album,” said Alicia Dennis, music editor for interactive pop-culture magazine Zimbio.com.
Dennis, however, thinks this is just “an anomaly” and could not be easily reproduced by other artists in the music industry.
“This kind of promotion could definitely boost sales for other artists, but they’d have to have Lady Gaga’s hype working for them as well, and no one does hype like Lady Gaga.”