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April 2011 editorial

A new album for just 0.99 $!

Author: Lucio Cadeddu - TNT Italy

[Lady Gaga - Born this way]
Lady Gaga "Born this way"

This is really hot news! You can purchase a newly released complete album for just 99 cents! How can this be possible? Weird but true, Amazon, on May 23, 2011, offered Lady Gaga's new album "Born this way" for just 99 cents. Oh yes, it is MP3 stuff, but still a stunning offer.
Amazon has decided to attack Apple and their iTunes music store offering single tracks for 0.69 $ (half the regular iTunes price!) and complete albums for 3-4 $ every day. With Lady Gaga's new album the guys at Amazon have decided to offer an embarassing deal: 99 cents for the whole album! To make the offer even more attractive, a 20Gb cloud space gift was included with the purchase of the album, and this is something that normally costs 20$/year. Amazon's Cloud Drive is a virtual disk storage any Amazon customer can use to store his music files, even if purchased elsewhere. This was Amazon's attemp to counterattack Apple decision to launch their own iCloud virtual music storage service. And don't forget even Google services now include music cloud storage. In other words, even if you weren't interested in Lady Gaga's new album, with 99 cents you could get 20 Gb of disk storage space (instead of 20$/year). Not bad, after all.

This is a copy of the e-mail announcement Amazon sent to their customers, as you may notice the offer was valid only on May 23, 2011. [Amazon Lady Gaga deal]

You can just imagine what happened: Amazon customers assaulted the site and caused a breakdown of the Amazon servers and lines. For this reason the offer has been repeated once again few days after, on May 26. On iTunes, Lady Gaga's new album was (and still is) regularly listed at 11.99$.

What's happening? Well, it is almost the same thing that's happening in other fields: goods are no longer relevant, you have to pay for services only. Mobile phones Companies offer you cell phones for free if you subscribe with them for a year or so. Of course, Lady Gaga's album doesn't really cost 99 cents, clearly Amazon has paid for the difference...call them advertising costs! Nonetheless I consider this a clear sign of the times: music is becoming less and less expensive, it is just a way to convince you to purchase online services. Now, probably you are thinking that Lady Gaga's music isn't exactly what you'd call "art" but that's not the point. Once, newly released CDs - even the worst ones - hit the stores at 25/30 € each, not to mention special editions or audiophile pressings at 60 € each! Now the toy is broken into pieces and time has come for a radical change of perspective.

From our point of view it is not 100% bad news: as long as the majors and online music stores fight each other to offer better services or more music at lower prices, we can spend less and get more. But what happens to artists? Oh well, their profit margin on album sales is so ridiculously small that their income won't be affected by these marketing wars. All they have to do, sooner o later, is start to sell their Music directly to their fans: lower prices for all, higher incomes for them. Oh yes, I know it was cool to pay a visit to your local music store, browse through the shelves and choose your favourite discs. All good things seem to come to an end, so we need to adapt ourselves, without asking if it is for better or not :-)

Personally, I'm purchasing more and more discs at lower and lower prices. The last two CDs I bought were 1.98 and 2.98 € respectively, discs that few years ago were regularly on stores at 18/20 €. Can artists survive when their discs sell for few euros? Of course, as their income depends on live gigs, TV shows, merchandising etc. Unless you are Lady Gaga, of course, who sold something like 90 millions of CDs in these last years.
Is she an artist? You bet, have a look at her impressive CV and professional career as composer and musician, for example. Definitely, she's not the usual fake we can see on MTV or on silly TV talent shows.
Hence, it shouldn't come as a surprise that even an alternative indie-rock band like Faith no more decided to make a short cover of one of her hits. So here it is, Lady Gaga's "Poker face" like you've never heard it, perfomed live, in the usual FNM weird way. Keep listening, it becomes FNM's Chinese Arithmetic after the first minute. The record scratching you hear is performed by Mr. Patton himself, with just his voice. Enjoy!

In case embedding of this video is prohibited in your Country search on YouTube for "Faith no more Lady Gaga".

© Copyright 2011 Lucio Cadeddu - direttore@tnt-audio.com - www.tnt-audio.com

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