Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lady Gaga Heads to Biggest Debut Since ’01

Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” from Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal Music Group, is poised to become the biggest album debut since ‘N Sync’s “Celebrity” in 2001, buoyed by sales for 99 cents at
The album, released May 24, will sell about 1.15 million copies in its first week, projected today. That would be the most since ‘N Sync sold 1.88 million copies in a week, Nielsen SoundScan said in an e-mail. Inc. (AMZN)’s servers were overwhelmed on May 24 by the 99-cent, one-day promotion. To make amends, offered the discount again on May 26. The two days resulted in sales of about 440,000 copies, Billboard reported, citing anonymous sources. The album carries a suggested retail price of $11.99 and costs $8.40 wholesale, Billboard reported.
“Born This Way” is also available in 20,000 stores, including CVS, Whole Foods and Walgreens, Billboard said, citing sources at Universal Music it didn’t name. It’s the most widely distributed album in “current times,” the music industry publication said.
Excluding, a deluxe digital version priced at $15.99 retail made up 70 percent of the album’s opening-day sales, Billboard reported.
Vivendi, controlling shareholder of video-game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc., gained 12 cents to 19.12 euros in Paris trading. The shares have slid 5.3 percent this year.
To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at

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