The value of music

My GF is a huge Radiohead fan, so I've been hearing about their latest album for ages. The band made news last year when they decided to make it available on line, and people could choose to pay whatever they wanted for it.

It looks like the band made more money on this model than if they went through a traditional record label.

In last month's Wired, David Byrne interviewed Thom Yorke (Radiohead's lead singer) about this new model.

It turns out the gambit was a savvy business move. In the first month, about a million fans downloaded In Rainbows. Roughly 40 percent of them paid for it, according to comScore, at an average of $6 each, netting the band nearly $3 million. Plus, since it owns the master recording (a first for the band), Radiohead was also able to license the album for a record label to distribute the old-fashioned way — on CD. In the US, it goes on sale January 1 through TBD Records/ATO Records Group.

It's an intriguing business model.

As for my GF, well, she skipped the name your own price download and bought the limited edition collectors' set.


mikster said...

Getting 40% to actually pay is higher than what I would have expected.

Jon Clarke said...

I paid $5 for it. And it's the best Radiohead album in a decade.