Lady Gaga’s new album “ARTPOP” has had plenty of promotion behind it, but sales are expected to fall well short of her previous offering, “Born This Way.”
First-week sales of roughly 260,000 copies are projected for the pop diva’s new release, according to Billboard. That would be a more-than 75 percent drop-off from her prior album, which bowed with 1.1 million units moved.
That impressive prior number was undoubtedly bolstered by an Amazon.com promotion that sold “Born This Way” for 99 cents during two days of its initial week. Billboard estimates that the MP3 marketing play accounted for 440,000 of the platinum-plus open. So crunching numbers, that means “ARTPOP” is still only paced to sell 40 percent of the Week 1 copies that “Born This Way” did at full cost.
That flop may not just end with bad press.
The underwhelming sales may lose Interscope Records $25 million in promo campaign costs, according to a story published at Examiner.com on Saturday. The soft sales for Gaga’s latest, coupled with the massive promo spend, could cause layoffs of Interscope employees, most likely around Christmas, according to the report.
Dennis Dennehy, a spokesman for Interscope records, told TheWrap that both allegations of the spending and layoffs are “ridiculous and untrue.”
“ARTPOP” is still expected to debut at No. 1, unseating Eminem‘s “Marshall Mathers LP II” — which by comparison sold 792,000 albums in its debut. That mark was good enough to place “MMLP2” second in 2013 openings, behind Justin Timberlake and above Drake. Miley Cyrus‘ “Bangerz” launched with first-week sales of 270,000 last month. Two weeks later, Katy Perry‘s “Prism” debuted with 286,000 first-week sales. But neither of those are considered breakout hits.
The singer’s new album may get a boost from her guest hosting stint on “Saturday Night Live,” but her last tour failed to sell out, reviews of “ARTPOP” have been mixed and its first single, ‘Applause,” peaked at No. 5 on the charts.
Interscope Records, based in Santa Monica, Calif., was founded by Jimmy Iovine in 1989 and is a part of the Universal Music Group. The label is home to more more than 100 artists, including Eminem, the Rolling Stones and Madonna.