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Amazon Desperately Wants to Lose Money on Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’

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If you hadn't figured it out already, Lady Gaga really wants to sell over a million copies of Born This Way in the album's debut week. At the same time, Amazon is frantically trying to ensure the sales chasm between their digital music service and Apple's dominant iTunes doesn't grow any larger. This perfect storm of motivation has fueled Amazon's decision to offer digital copies of Born This Way for 99 cents, or the cost of a new Melty Beefy Burrito at Taco Bell, on its release date of May 23rd.

However, Amazon's service was so hammered by eager Little Monsters on Monday that many fans had difficulties downloading the album, and Amazon's plan was undercut by an infuriating user experience. So, take two: "We're doing it again and this time we're ready. Get @ladygaga's Born This Way album for $0.99 today," Amazon's Twitter announced this morning.

iTunes, meanwhile, is selling the regular version of BTW for $11.99 and the deluxe version, which currently tops their bestselling albums chart, for $15.99. Billboard.biz reports that for every 99 cent Born This Way sold, Amazon has to pay Universal/Interscope $8.39, because while Amazon is drastically slashing the price of the album, the record label is not. So, Amazon is losing a ton of money on Born This Way, with their motives being 1) they'd rather lose money than have Apple make money and 2) it brings attention to Amazon's new cloud service.

This isn't a new practice: Best Buy and Walmart once sold new releases well under wholesale price in order to drive business away from Tower Records and Sam Goody and all those stores, which ended up working since those chains aren't around anymore. However, iTunes is going nowhere; they're well fortified in the world of digital music, Born This Way or no Born This Way.

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