$3 Million: The Price of Selling Gaga
According to the New York Times, Amazon paid Gaga’s distributor, Universal, full price (between $8 or $9 per album), meaning they lost more than $3 million.
That is certainly a ton of money to have kicked into your campaign by an entity that has no actual interest in how well your album sells, and it provides much fodder for anyone wishing to quibble with the validity of the 1.1 million number. But Lady Gaga should still get a lot of the credit: Amazon would have wanted to pull this kind of sales gimmick with someone, and, thanks to the all-permeating pop-culture presence that Gaga has cultivated, she was the top option. Meanwhile, Amazon chalks all those millions up to marketing costs and moves on. Win-win! Still, Taylor Swift — who only mustered a paltry 1.04 million sales for Speak Now’s first week — is probably pretty salted.
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