On Thursday, it was announced that Lady Gaga's critically maligned album ARTPOP was predicted to sell between 240,000 and 260,000 copies its first week. That's a long way down from "Born This Way," which sold 1.1 million copies in its first week. The numbers wouldn't be bad for anybody else, but are a disaster for both Gaga and Interscope.
Interscope Records put forth $25 million for ARTPOP's promotion. That's the most money any record company paid for promotion since Michael Jackson's "Invincible" had a budget of 30 million. The $25 million budget for ARTPOP includes payments to radio stations to play the singles, payments to media outlets to hype Gaga up, travel expenses, and other gimmicks. We are told that Interscope will have to lay off at least 50 employees after Gaga's disaster.
It is interesting to note that last week, Interscope had an emergency meeting with Billboard about Lady Gaga. It is alleged that they wanted Billboard to count indirect streams of Lady Gaga performing at the YouTube Music Awards towards the chart position of her song "Dope." The song, which was also pushed by thousands of free copies given away to those who pre-ordered the album, came in at number 8. This number is not representative of the song's true popularity. It just means that anybody who watched the YouTube Music Festival contributed points to Lady Gaga's chart position. It is completely misleading.
We are told that in the next couple weeks, Lady Gaga will tone down her act. "She now realizes her bizarre act is overshadowing her music," a record industry source tells us. Perhaps she should consider making decent music as well.