There are many good things about Amazon, but their deals may be the best. Today only, the online retailer has marked down the price of Lady Gaga’s new “Born This Way” album to $0.99 for the entire album. This goes against the grain of high profile releases, which typically retail for much more than a regular album. For example, the special edition of “Born This Way” costs $12.99.
Like Gaga or not, an album for a dollar is more than a fair offer. Amazon MP3 is known for big MP3 discounts, but 99 cents is one of the lowest album prices we’ve seen. Typically, Amazon will handpick an album every day and discount it to $3.99, taking a loss on the album as a way to get people interested in its MP3 and Cloud Drive service. Many more albums are priced at $4.99 and $7.99. Very rarely are albums priced this low. Last time we saw it happen, a group of old jazz albums were selling for 25 – 75 cents a piece. Amazon has also begun discounting popular singles to $.69.
Lady Gaga is doing everything she can to build buzz for “Born This Way.” The singer has been all over the media, stirring controversy, making appearances, and endorsing products like Google Chrome. We’ll find out if her strategy worked when we see the album’s first week sales numbers in the near future.
Is a 99 cent album a good thing for the industry or does this sort of thing hurt the already hurting art of selling music for money? Amazon sees it as a way to promote its Cloud Player, which lets users to save music to the cloud and then download it to a myriad of devices. While we have our issues with this service, it is currently the only one of its kind. Google recently launched a music hosting service, but does not sell MP3s.