Amazon Lost How Much on 99-Cent Gaga Downloads?

More than $3 million, the 'New York Times' estimates
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2011 11:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Lady Gaga sold a whopping 1.1 million copies of Born This Way in its first week, but 440,000 of those copies went for just 99 cents on Amazon.com. Amazon, however, did pay Gaga's distributor the full price of $8 to $9 per album—which means, the New York Times calculates, the online retailer lost more than $3 million. Of course, New York magazine points out, a big point of the gimmick was to drum up new users for its Cloud Drive service, so the company can just consider those millions "marketing costs." As for Gaga, the move does provide "much fodder for anyone wishing to quibble with the validity of the 1.1 million number," writes Amos Barshad. Click to see which artist Barshad thinks is "probably pretty salted" right now. (Read more Lady Gaga stories.)

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