Amazon hits Apple iTunes with $0.99 Lady Gaga ‘Born This Way’ album (today only)

“Last month, Amazon rolled out a promotion highlighting 69-cent new release tracks in its MP3 download store, an apparent effort to draw market share from Apple in the digital download market that has long been dominated by the iTunes Store,” Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors. “The pricing significantly undercuts Apple’s own pricing, which typically comes in at $1.29 for popular new tracks.”

Slivka reports, “Amazon has made another push today with a ‘Daily Deal’ offering the new Lady Gaga album, ‘Born This Way,’ for only $0.99 through the Amazon MP3 Store. The special price is available for today only and compares to the $11.99 price point for the standard album in the iTunes Store, where an expanded edition is also available for $15.99.”

Read more in the full article here.

Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” via Amazon ($0.99, today only) here.

Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way (Bonus Track Version)” via Apple’s iTunes Store ($15.99) here.

MacDailyNews Take: At least with iTunes Store, you actually get the downloads. Amazon must be getting slammed as their Mac OS X MP3 Downloader downloads nothing and alternates between repeatedly saying “Download failed. Retry download; if problem persists contact customer service” and “Can’t connect. Please contact customer service.” For those who value their time, this could end up costing more than the $15 you’re “saving.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


  1. What a great way to BUY market share Amazon! Sounds like you’ve been taking your cues from Microsoft! There’s just one problem: You have to keep paying for market share once you’ve achieved it, and that’s not good. 😥

    1. Totally agree. It does not matter if you like the artist or not (to each their own) Amazon comes off looking like a poor third in music downloads. I have the same problem as above, most of the music takes too long then crashes the downloader. So exactly why would I trust Amazon with my music if they cannot do a simple download well.???

      Just a thought,

  2. When iTunes Music Store opened 8 years ago, it went head-to-head with the original (and illegal) Napster. Steve’s argument was the people would rather pay $1 and get their song in 30 seconds, rather than sift through Napster’s search results in hope of getting a decently ripped pirated copy. He was right and iTMS took off.

    Amazon is now offering precisely the kind of service that Napster had (without charging for it). For those without the awareness of moral impropriety of pirating music, it is difficult to justify spending money on Amazon if it takes as long (and longer) to get the tracks as it does via torrent sites.

    Amazon will often try to make a run for the market share by occasionally offering these ‘loss-leaders’ (discounts). Labels may even line up behind such efforts with some additional sweet deals reserved for non-iTunes retailers, all in hope of reducing Apple’s powerful position. Unless any of these actually offers the QUALITY of service that can surpass Apple’s, the strategy will fail.

  3. Apple doesn’t care if you buy music from Amazon, as long as you are buying and listening to that music on Apple devices. Amazon sells a lot of those devices. Amazon is more Apple’s partner than its competitor.

    1. It’s true that Amazon sells a lot of Apple devices… but those devices don’t have the Amazon MP3 app or Cloud Drive streaming like Android does. Amazon is also about to release their own Android-based phones, tablets and MP3 players. It they aren’t there already, they’re definitely beginning to move into the competitor camp.

      1. That’s all great, but until those things become popular for playing music (if ever), it is mostly irrelevant.

        Amazon’s “Cloud Drive” is not very useful. If I want to use any of my existing music with it, including music I previously purchased from Amazon, I have to upload that music manually. And to do so, I have to use this unwieldy web-page interface (where I have to select songs separately – not in folders); I can’t imagine using it with thousands of songs that iTunes has carefully organized into folders and sub-folders. On top of that, I have to manually organize the songs on the “Cloud Drive.” The new Amazon song purchases may already be there, but I’m not going to use the service if all of my existing songs are not there.

        When Apple does streaming music, they will do it right. Apple has kept very close track of every song I have ever purchased from the iTunes Store. My bet is that Apple’s licensing deal with the content providers is to allow immediate streaming of EVERY song the customer has previously purchased from the iTunes Store at no additional cost (as long as it is still being sold in the iTunes Store). And obviously, streaming of future iTunes Store music purchases. Those songs are already stored on Apple’s servers (collectively), so why should the customer have to manually upload them manually (individually). It saves the customer pain and suffering, and it saves Apple storage space. BUT, If the customer wants to upload song files they have that came from CD ripping or another source, THEN they can sign up for a paid service by the GB. The upload process will no doubt use iTunes, so it won’t even be “manual.”

        So until Amazon has something people actually want to use, they will be Apple’s helpful “partner” in selling Apple hardware.

  4. I tried it out… thought for 99 cents, what’s the loss. I kind of like the song “Born This Way”. Cheaper than buying one song. As of 4:27 PM, I downloaded it or tried to at 11:30 AM, I still only have three songs. Here is the email reply I heard back from Amazon…


    I’m very sorry about the issues you’ve experienced with the album “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga (Album Deal of the Day). Due to an extremely high volume of orders, it’s taking longer than expected for your music to be available in Cloud Drive and Cloud Player.

    I’ve looked into your account and verified your order has completed successfully and will be available for download and playback shortly. Rest assured this is a known issue and we are working upon the resolution. We are expecting to resolve this sooner. Errors like this are usually corrected shortly after they’re reported.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter.

    Thanks for your patience while we fix this problem

    Can you imagine if this is how Apple dealt with this? It would be on the nightly news. Its just, no one cares about Amazon.

  5. Selling an album for the day for 0.99$ is not going to create loyalty. At most it will attract people who only care about one thing… saving some money ( and I bet the majority of those people will sooner just download a stolen copy for free rather then spend 5 minutes creating a user account and filling in credit card details – iTunes users dont have to do that with the easy purchase now button!). Then, they will go away and not shop with you until you do anything out of desperation to “keep” them, meaning you always have to sell an album at that price. Amazon will only create sales deficits in their desperate bid to outdo Apple, which will not hurt Apple in the slightest. It will take 15 album downloads to make the same as 1 with apple. I will be interested in knowing at the end of the day, Apple vs Amazon, not how many times an album was purchased or attempted to download but failed…. but more how much they each profited in sales, or how much they each lost in sales. (red vs black sales). Remember, Amazon does to pay royalties, which are more then $0.99, so each album they sell, they loose money, not generate revenue, which matters to shareholders. Wait, damn! Go Amazon! Sell as many as you can! I’ll be laughing at your marketing managers and CEO when they file bankruptcy, while Apple laughs all the way to the bank counting its PROFIT, and not bailing you sad dopes out 🙂

  6. Well, I took the bait on this one. I will never buy music from Amazon again. I’m glad this was just a $.99 lesson (plus what the cost of fill-in tracks cost from iTunes — $1.29 x 2?).

    I was prompted to first save this purchase to my cloud drive. I declined this as I wasn’t sure how all that worked yet. I was then prompted to download some MP3 downloader app that negotiates the downloads and places the music in my iTunes folders.

    That was yesterday. I kept getting download errors on certain tracks. So I kept re-running that damned program over and over. I tried in NC before my trip to Phoenix. Got all tracks but six. I managed to get two more downloaded via Wifi on the airplane. And I got two more to download from my hotel room. I had two tracks left, and I was already swearing “Never again!”.

    I am now getting “download no longer available” errors on the last two tracks. Appears too much time has gone by between purchase and download. No s**t, Amazon!

    As always, Apple and iTunes don’t appear to have anything to worry about .. LOL

  7. This actually worked to iTunes’ benefit.

    I bought the album, figuring 99 cents would never be missed. I wasn’t able to download it at all this morning. I’ve since lost interest in Lady Gaga or amazon cloud or any digital download from Amazon. I know from experience that Apple would never have let this happen.

    Better luck next time, Amazon.

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