Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lower the price and more people pay the piper

The TimesOnline is reporting that 3 out of 5 didn't pay a penny for the latest Radiohead album when offered the chance to download and pay what they wanted.

The average price paid was just £2.90, globally.

And there is much wringing of hands about this in the Times report. How terrible. The grand experiment has failed - is the general sentiment.

But the album has been downloaded 1.2m times in the first month. So the £2.90 a pop (as an average) is not a bad return - given that there are no production costs, and huge cut in marketing and distribution costs.

A bit of context, from everyhit.co.uk:

Lowest-Selling Number One

"The record for a non-limited edition single is "Wonderful" by Ja Rule featuring R Kelly & Ashanti. Entering the chart w/e 6th Nov 2004 it went on to sell a total of 65,000 copies. "

Another upside for Radiohead: Many of those sampling the album 'for free' may yet go on to buy a CD of it - following the same model as those who download free novels online and go on to purchase a hard copy to own on the bookshelf.

Lesson: Careful how you measure success.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?