The Lessons of Lady Gaga's Digital Dominance
Posted in: Online TV/Music at 30/01/2010 17:05
With digital dominance, business savvy, a niche-busting sound and 1,001 wardrobe changes, she is a new model for success
Pay attention to that woman opening the Grammys.
At Sunday's awards show, Lady Gaga is expected to play a duet on a single piano with Elton John. She is nominated for five awards, including record of the year, but that's less important than her broader impact on music culture in the space of a year, which has been seismic.
She's a digital phenomenon
Lady Gaga's towering digital sales, almost all of them iTunes downloads, only tell part of the story. In fact, much of Gaga's audience got her music for free, and legally. They have listened to free streams -- by the hundreds of millions -- on YouTube and the other online services that Gaga currently leads, according to research firm BigChampagne. On MySpace, Gaga has had 321.5 million plays. By contrast, singer Susan Boyle tallied only 133,000 plays, despite scoring the No. 2 selling album of 2009. A difference (among many) between Gaga and the dowdy Scotswoman discovered on a British talent show: Ms. Boyle's material, including "Amazing Grace," was traditional -- and so were most of her buyers. Some 97% of her albums were sold on compact disc.