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.