Radiohead’s pay-what-you-wish album

Though I am not a massive Radiohead fan, I applaud the band for taking music to the masses in a new way. As you may have heard, their latest album, In Rainbows, is available for free download. If you feel they deserve something, you can decide how much to pay them.
While there’s been much dispute between Radiohead and Comscore as to exactly what proportion of users have paid for the album so far, I decided to encourage this new strategy by adding myself to the ranks of those who did pay.
I decided on 5 quid because I felt it should be cheaper than buying the actual CD. Radiohead would have saved on production and distribution costs. They also don’t need to pay a record company as the middleman, though they did enlist the services of an online agent to handle transactons.
In time, Radiohead will collate the results from their own website, and the world will learn whether such a business model is viable. My guess is that big Radiohead fans will pay them something. When this happens, other big acts may do the same. It’s also the novelty of it all. I probably wouldn’t have bought the CD version but I was curious enough to purchase the album this way.
If my hunch is right and Radiohead make a princely profit, this may very well change the landscape of commercial music. Perhaps there really is an ‘alternative’ pot of gold at the end of this Rainbow.


  1. vantan

    Jason – cool!
    Dinu – Hmm…
    Guys, I have been unable to download the 50+mb zipped file of their album! I’ve tried on different networks, different computers, different browsers and the download process keeps getting cut off at various stages. Has that happened for you too?
    If you’ve managed to download the entire zipped file, can you send me the individual MP3 files?

  2. Dinu

    I downloaded it somewhere in early Oct and didn’t have any problems then. BUT….I guess you’re a bit too late. I already deleted it off. Was never much of a Radiohead fan, just wanted to download it to see what the process was like.

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