For those who haven’t heard, Radiohead, the musicians behind the soundtrack to a good deal of my life, have decided to release their new album in a, “pay what you please” manner. No “suggested donation” or “free, free, free”, but what you like. So pleasant and ultimately, how British, huh?
More than likely this will pan out okay for them. One reason is that Radiohead fans are loyal. We love all that they do (even the recent albums) and they’re one of the few groups we feel like paying for. Admittedly a great deal of people just steal the albums, but I actually own real copies of all their CDs.
Another reason this is a good deal is because their distribution costs are nearly non-existent. Just paying for some server storage and bandwidth is about all that they’ve got to deal with.
The last big reason that I think this will work is because buying the album is problematic. No, not getting at it on their site, but doing any kind of conversion from British Pounds on the Oanda currency conversion site. That thing is completely inundated which tells me that people are looking up how much to spend and thusly spend once they know. Maybe I’m just guessing with this, but it really seems possible.
I am going to buy this album for download. What price am I going to pay? $5 USD. Seems like nothing, but if you figure that most artists only get $1 from any album they sell while on a label, then this is a 500% increase in what the artist is making and honestly, I find this to be a pretty good cost for music. Maybe I’m just cheap, but it’s the way I see it. It would be good if Radiohead released sales figures and statistics a month after they “release” it, as I am very interested to see how this all goes down.