‘In Rainbows’ nets Radiohead $6 per download

Apple iTunes“The experiment by the band Radiohead to allow their fans to determine the cost of their latest album may have backfired, according to a new report,” Nicole Martin reports for The Telegraph.

“It found that three in five people who downloaded In Rainbows from the internet paid absolutely nothing for it,” Martin reports.

“The group shocked the music industry last month when it announced that their fans could pay as much or as little as they wanted for their seventh album,” Martin reports.

“A report by the internet monitoring company comScore found that 62 per cent of the estimated 1.2 million people who downloaded the album paid nothing for it. The average price paid was $6 (£2.90),” Martin reports.

Full article here.

Josh Grossberg reports or E! News, “Americans were more generous, shelling out an estimated $8.05 per download. Those abroad, mostly consumers in Europe, averaged $4.64 per download.”

“According to comScore senior analyst Andrew Lipsman, Radiohead might be onto something. ‘If [Radiohead] is getting $6 on average, and it’s basically going straight into their pockets and their costs are minimal, it could be economically viable,'” Grossberg reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Remember, there’s no label to take their hefty cut. Radiohead has eliminated the middleman. Imagine if they also offered the album (and – blasphemy! – individual tracks) via Apple’s iTunes Store.

Grossberg continues, “Radiohead essentially needs to make $1.50 per download to break even, Lipsman estimates, so at $6 per buyer, the group still looks to make out pretty well.”

“‘The question is: How will new artists be able to use this [pay what you like] model in the future if they haven’t built a fan base in the millions in the years leading up to the release of their album under [this] model?’ said Michael Laskow, CEO of TAXI, a leading independent Artist and Repertoire firm,” Grossberg reports.

“Lipsman also pointed out that for every dollar consumers spent on download sales, they also spent $2 on Radiohead’s $80 deluxe box set, which includes a free In Rainbows download, as well as a physical CD of the album, a bonus disc of eight additional tracks, vinyl records, a lyric book. The package is due to ship Dec. 3,” Grossberg reports.

“A rep for Radiohead has previously said the band would release sales figures at the end of the year,” Grossberg reports.

Full article here.

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


  1. They have just sign to a major in the UK, and will be picking up North American Distro any day now. Also they are mounting a world tour.

    They did the same thing with Hail to the Thief. Does no one remember that mysterious, unmastered mix that was mysterious released onto the mysterinternetous?

  2. so the band gives people the option of getting a legit copy for nothing and averaged $6 per album with distribution costs being so much lower the the tradition old world media, instead of people getting it from a bittorrent for nothing with world old media distribution costs. I think radiohead did a great job and will come out infront

  3. bitter radiohead fan is nuts – those three albums were great. i’m looking forward to buying “in rainbows” on an actual CD (i like having the album art and extras). i didn’t know about the box set that’s coming out – i may have to get that. =) it’s a good time to be a radiohead fan!

  4. I tink people who downloaded it and paid nothing are pond scum, unless they listened to it then immediately delted it if they didn’t like it.

    If you get it, pony up some cash cheap ass bastards. Those who paid for it, good for you. You are helping destroy the greed of the music business executives. Make them find new ways to get hookers and blow.

  5. This is not a new “business model.” This was a publicity stunt that only a band of Radiohead’s stature could pull off..

    New and developing artists without the fan base and money could never survive this way..

    Radiohead will make tens of millions touring this year, add to that $6 per album and their profit is pretty hefty compared to un-established indie bands who do club tours of 200-300 people..

  6. PCIdiot – So, 1 in 3 people don’t steal?

    I’m surprised that many paid for it, I figure it’s less than 1% of computer users who don’t have “free” (from the office, bit-torrent, brother) software that they use. And it’s always justified, somehow.

    Ultimately the cheapest feeds the masses as they try to achieve perfection through mediocrity.

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