Gaga probably received a ton of messages from industry bigwigs after she not only declared that albums are “totally worth 99 cents” but also echoed the sentiment of many that labels are no longer a necessity.
It went like this. Amazon sold Gaga’s latest album 99 cents a pop. Asked if her album wasn’t worth more than 99 cents that Amazon charged, Lady Gaga responded, “No. I absolutely do not, especially for MP3s and digital music. It’s invisible. it’s in space. If anything, I applaud a company like Amazon for equating the value of digital versus the physical copy, and giving the opportunity to everyone to buy music,” Gaga said in the Wall Street Journal interview.
“It also wasn’t really 99 cents, because Amazon paid the difference on all of those purchases as part of their promotional campaign for one of their new services.”
First, Amazon did eat the actual cost of Gaga’s album. They paid the label more and charged less to get more eyeballs on the site. Also, they promoted the shit out of their cloud music service to recover the difference. It probably paid off, but it doesn’t work for every retailer.
Gaga went on to add that, thanks to the internet, many artists don’t need the help of a record label to make it. If you believe that nonsense about not needing a label, I have an oceanfront to sell you in h-town. Say what you want about record labels, the truth remains that you still need them to make it. Ignore the irony of Lady Gaga, a product of the major label machine, sticking a finger in the eye of her maker. There’s nothing within the current structure of the Internet movement to substitute the exposure and financial resources that labels can offer aspiring artists. No, not even social media. Gaga is a brand name; she can probably get by without a label at this point. But underground artists don’t have that luxury. Until we get to that point, this is just goo goo gaga fantasy gibberish.