Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated Born This Way was always going to be one of the year’s biggest sellers, but the superstar is hoping to break charts records in America by giving away her album for the bargain price of 99 cents.

Experts are now predicting a first week sales tally of between 750,000 and one million units after initial estimates of around 500,000 copies.

A large chunk of those sales are due to Mother Monster’s peerless work ethic, brilliant promotional campaign and non-stop string of hits (see Judas below), but a new deal between her label and online retailer Amazon puts a question mark over the legitimacy of what promises to be the year’s highest selling debut.

As part of Amazon’s new Cloud storage service – think of it as their version of Windows Media Player or iTunes – customers get a free 20GB storage upgrade and a copy of Born This Way for 99 cents when they sign up.

The deal was only valid for 24 hours but has been a huge success, threatening to break the digital download record of 288,000 set by Coldplay’s Vida La Vida.

That still means Lady Gaga’s sales total has been inflated by almost 300,000 copies – to put it in context, more than either Britney or Rihanna could manage in their entire first week with Femme Fatale and Loud respectively.

However, there is now some debate as to whether Soundscan (the American equivalent of ARIA) will actually include the 99 cent sales or not.

Is giving away 14 songs for a dollar taking things too far or is this just another master marketing move by Mother Monster?

Via The Prophet Blog.

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