Saturday, October 06, 2007

Radiohead - In Rainbows.

Radiohead's new album In Rainbows is available for pre-order (released 10th October).
The strange thing about it - you decide what to pay. 1p, £1, £100 - it seems it's up to you.

It's a lovely idea. And really throws the gauntlet down to other bands and record labels.
But it could all fail spectacularly.
Remember Stephen King's glorious idea to do the same with some of his novels a while ago? The idea was to release chapters online for free or a minimal $1 charge and readers could decide what or whether to pay. But he would only keep writing it if 75%+ of downloaders paid something. It got to chapter 4 and then he stopped.

The Radiohead model is slightly different. The initial pay-what-you-like-Download is in competition with a £40 Disc box of 2x12", CD, paper stuff etc. How many of Radiohead's fans will be willing to fork out £40 on what essentially has suddenly become a fetish object?

Because that's what has happened. There are now two distinct streams of music customer. Those who want the sounds and those who want the sounds as objects. If you want the object that much you will pay the £40.
But if you just want the sound?
Well how much would you pay?

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