According to Nielsen SoundScan’s data, Lady Gaga‘s new album Born This Way sold 1.11 million copies in the United States in its first week, making it the fastest-selling new release since 50 Cent‘s The Massacre moved 1.14 million units in March 2005. The album is also Gaga’s first Number One album in the U.S. and the first record to sell more than a million copies in its first week since Taylor Swift released Speak Now in November.
Gaga’s sales were boosted in large part by an Amazon promotion on Monday and Thursday of last week in which the basic 14-track download version of the album was sold for 99 cents. According to Billboard‘s estimates, Amazon sold around 440,000 copies of the album through this deep-discount sale. The digital retailer used the album as a loss leader to promote their Cloud Drive storage service and paid Gaga’s label full wholesale price for each album sold.
In addition to driving up overall sales for the album, which was originally projected to sell around 700,000 copies in its opening week, Amazon’s sales also pushed Born This Way to break a record for the highest number of digital albums sold in one week with 662,000 in total.