iTunes revolutionized the way that most people listen to and purchase music. Personal music players fueled with downloaded tunes are now the norm. Yesterday, in a one day only promotion, Lady Gaga gave a major gift to her fans and nudged the music industry at the same time by offering her entire new album, Born This Way, one of the biggest new albums on the pop music horizon, to be purchased and downloaded on Amazon.com new MP3 cloud player for a mere 99 cents.
Plenty of folks will still fork out the full-price (15.99 on iTunes) for the album, but it sent a strong message that social media is a great marketing tool — the cut rate offer was tweeted and picked up and spread across the twitterverse like wildfire. Folks that probably never would have bought a Gaga album, might not have downloaded even one tune from it, signed up to pay just shy of one dollar. Why not? People love a bargain.
I was intrigued that this could signal be a new way for folks to buy music, and maybe even give iTunes a run for its money — that is until I checked my 99 cent download and only was able to get two songs from the album. And I'm far from the only one. According to Amazon: "Amazon is experiencing high volume and downloads are delayed. If customers order today, they will get the full Lady Gaga, Born This Way album for $0.99. Thanks for your patience."
I'm still unable to download more than track 13 and 14, but Amazon was quick and efficient when it came to emailing me my .99 bill of sale. Oh well. It was a nice idea, this cloud player thing. Call me, Amazon, when you get your act together. And when the rest of my album turns up. Until then, iTunes still rules.