If Radiohead’s intention in letting customers choose the price they pay for the band’s new album, In Rainbows, was to light up the blogosphere, then it’s certainly worked: here, here, here and of course, right here.
They were actually beaten to the punch by the Charlatans, who’re not messing around with making customers pay 1p for their content – the next single and album from them will be totally free.
Good, blunt quote from Charlatans manager Alan McGee, “I thought: well nobody buys CDs anyway….[so] I came to the conclusion – ‘why don’t we just give it away for nothing'”.
The funniest write up is Andrew Orlowski’s opinion piece:
Labelless, but hardly penniless, Radiohead are letting their fans set the price for digital downloads of the band’s new CD.
… The new release will also be available in physical form – £40 for a box-set – easily affordable to the well-heeled bourgeois bedwetters who make up the band’s core following.
Then again, this is such a guilt-ridden corpus of record-buyers they may well feel obliged to make more than the minimum donation.”
He also makes the obvious point this sort of thing might be OK for Radiohead, Prince and the Charlatans, but where does it leave the bands at the bottom of label’s rosters, the ones that aren’t millionaires with tens of thousand of rabid fans? Top bands will likely come out with more than the 10% of sales the labels would have given them anyway but the younger groups need more support.
- “Radiohead delighted with record sales”.
- “Which of you fuckers put our album on the internet for 1p, I needed to buy a new sweater”.
- “Lads, the good news is that we sold a 100 copies. The bad news is everyone paid 1p”