First Results of Radiohead's 'Pay What You Want' Experiment Are In

Last Updated Nov 7, 2007 1:39 PM EST

First Results of Radiohead's 'Pay What You Want' Experiment Are InIn October, Radiohead announced that they were making their seventh album "In Rainbows" available for download. Fans could choose how much to pay for the music, or pay nothing at all. One of the band's managers, Bryce Edge, admitted that it was a risky idea:
"We're prepared to take a risk and we might come out looking very foolish. But we believe if your music is great, then people will pay for it."
So how much did people pay? Early numbers are out today, and the answer seems to be less than an album normally costs but not nothing. PaidContent.org reports today that,
ComScore (NSDQ: SCOR) data (via release) shows 1.2 million people visited the site in the first 29 days of October (it was launched at the start of the month). The average price paid was $6 on a globalized basis but Americans were more generous, coughing up $8.05 - factor in the freeloaders, however, and it's more like an average $2.26 on a worldwide basis and $3.23 from Americans. The most common amount offered was below $4, but 12 percent were willing to pay between $8 and $12, around the typical cost of an album from iTunes.
Of course, the revenue from the website is only part of the picture. It's still unclear what the effects the experiment in pricing will have on ticket and merchandise sales.

Radiohead themselves don't seem to be put off by the results. They recently announced that they will also offer the full back catalog on a 4Gb USB stick in CD -quality WAV files with digital artwork.

(Image of Radiohead in concert by nsanch, CC 2.0)
  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.

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