The High Price of Amazon’s Gaga Deal

Retailer out more than $3 million

In the aftermath of Amazon’s 99 cent Lady Gaga album deal, which crashed its site and forced a subsequent do-over two days later, it looks like the retailer might not only have lost some face, but also a big chunk of money.

According to Daily Intel’s math, the retailer sold 440,000 downloads of "Born This Way" over the two days that the deal was offered, paying Gaga’s distributor, Universal, the full price of approximately $9 per album, and re-selling them at just 99 cents a piece—meaning that Amazon lost more than $3 million in the process. 

It's possible Amazon will write this off as a marketing cost and move on, but whether the move will actually prove successful at driving more music sales to the site in the future is far from clear.