Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lady Gaga Biggest Sales Problem: No Hit Single to Drive Album Sales


Will sales of Lady Gaga’s new “ArtPop” album exceed this week’s Eminem debut of around 750,ooo? It’s unlikely. Gaga has a big problem. While “ArtPop” is number 1 right now, it has no hit single.  What’s driving the Eminem album is his hit “The Monster” with Rihanna. It’s number 1 following the path of Katy Perry’s “Roar” which is still high on the charts.

But the highest charting single so far from “ArtPop” is “Applause” at 13 on iTunes. Her R Kelly duet, “Do What U Want,” is further down at 23. This suggests that while Lady Gaga certainly has devoted fans, she’s not reaching beyond them with a big breakout song.  And that’s where her album sales may break off.

Gaga is getting help again from Amazon. The massive retailer is selling the MP3 download for “ArtPop”, clean or dirty, for just $5.99. That’s three to four dollars lower than most other albums. Arcade Fire’s new “Reflektor” album MP3 for $11.99. Miley Cyrus’s “Bangerz” album is selling for $3.99.

Of course, deep discounts most MP3 downloads. Their audience typically buys physical CDs. On Amazon, the actual CDs are often offered with a free MP3 download.

That’s because the real downloading goes on at iTunes, Amazon’s competitor.  Amazon’s audience skews older, so their exposure isn’t a question. For example, they’re selling the explicit (lots of the f word) version of Eminem’s new album for just $3.99.

In 2010, Amazon got into trouble for selling Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” for just 99 cents. A rule went into place immediately that only albums selling for $3.49 or more would be counted in the weekly charts by SoundScan.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News