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Radiohead Responds to Download Stats: Says They’re False

Radiohead BandRadiohead has decided to respond to the previous coverage of their social experiment of offering their album online at a name-your-own price. According to a study (by a third party, comScore), only 38% of downloaders paid something while the 62% majority paid nothing. And of those paying, most paid less than $4. While it was fun to speculate on what this could mean for the music industry, turns out any speculation was based on more speculation (comScore’s). Here’s what Radiohead had to say:

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Results of Radiohead Experiment: 38% of Downloaders Pay an Average of $6

RadioheadAbout a month ago, we mentioned Radiohead’s social experiment of offering fans a choose-your-own-price way for downloading the band’s latest album (with the option of free). As I had mentioned, simple economics dictates that the most likely price in this case will be the minimum. And I was right, sort of.

Only 38% of downloaders paid something while the 62% majority paid nothing. Globally, the average price paid was $6; the average in the U.S. was around $8. But those numbers ignore the freeloaders. Including the “no pay” crowd, the average price was around $2.26 globally and $3.23 in the U.S. Of those who did pay something, 17% paid below $4 (the most common category) but 12% paid between $8 and $12, a price in line with iTunes or Amazon.

Was it a success? Yes and no, depending on how you look at it.

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Radiohead’s Social Experiment: Choose Your Own Price for Our Music

RadioheadRadiohead has decided to follow Prince’s lead by trying a new distribution model for their music. The band announced that the new album, In Rainbows, will only be available via Radiohead.com. And the consumer picks the price for the digital download. Time made it sound like “free” was even an option, though another source explains that there is a minimum charge of 1 pence plus a 45 pence credit card processing fee. In dollars, about $0.94, and that’s for the entire album.

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