Forget “Perfect Illusion” at this point; with Joanne now out and projected to top next week’s album chart, Lady Gaga is in the full swing of promotion for her fifth LP, and its two recent buzz singles, “Million Reasons” and “A-YO.” Or maybe “A-YO” is now the official new single from Joanne? Don’t be so hasty, Interscope.
Both songs have been selling well since Joanne went on sale at digital retailers last Friday, likely because Gaga has been performing them during high profile appearances — most recently on Saturday Night Live and The Howard Stern Show. But it’s “Million Reasons” that has taken the lead and is now soaring at #1 on the iTunes chart. (“A-YO” is sitting at #14.)
Of course, helping matters is the fact that both songs are being offered at the reduced price of 69 cents, while the other individual Joanne tracks are priced at the usual $1.29. But don’t scoff at Gaga alone just yet — it’s a marketing tactic that’s benefited everyone from Ariana Grande to Shawn Mendes to gnash to Coldplay on the Billboard Hot 100 chart recently.
As Billboard reported over the summer, “the strategy yields diminishing returns, driving sales for about two weeks (the typical length of time a song is featured)”:
After that, even if it stays within the section, sales will begin to fall. When the price is raised back up to the default $1.29, there is a dramatic sales drop. Not shocking.
Some in the music business wonder if the overall decline of digital sales — this year, track sales are down 25 percent — could push the standard price for a digital song back down to $0.99. Asked about a possible price drop overall, label executives emphatically responded: “No.”
Whether luck — and radio — will kick in to give “Million Reasons” a proper boost remains to be seen. Gaga’s last single to get significant airplay was “Applause,” back in 2013. It was also her last song to place within the the Top 10 on the Hot 100 (at #4).
For now, Gaga’s followers, who, like most fanbases, enjoy seeing their favorite artists high on the charts, are likely relishing the fact that the singer has a top song on the iTunes sales chart. Let’s see if it can last.