Radiohead reaps just £1 per download

Report suggests 62% of customers who downloaded Radiohead's new album, did so for free

Simon Aughton
6 Nov 2007

Radiohead downloaders paid an average of just £1.08 for the band's new record, In Rainbows, reports suggest.

The band invited fans to pay whatever they liked for the album and according to market research firm, ComScore, 62% elected to pay nothing whatsoever, while fewer than 12% paid more than £4.

Despite this and the huge numbers who downloaded the album peer to peer, Comscore still estimates that the band made £1.3 million from the album.

Though the band's management would not confirm the figure, it did say that Radiohead were happy with the way things have gone and noted that traffic to the band's website had increased 11-fold and was prompting sales of the £40 discbox.

"They have garnered good faith with the music consumer at a time when it's all the rage to bash the industry and the artists who ally themselves with it," says ComScore analyst Edward Hunter.

"The high percentage of users actually paying more than a few dollars for this download is actually pretty impressive," says Jim Larrison of advertising firm Adify.

"I expected the vast majority of users to download the album for free or at most a few dollars. With 40% of consumers willing to pony up real money, this is a true win for the music industry as it shows there is still perceived value in the digital form of entertainment."

But New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson was downbeat.

"This shows pretty conclusively that the majority of music consumers feel that digital recorded music should be free and is not worth paying for," he claims. "That's a large group that can't be ignored and its time to come up with new business models to serve the freeloader market."

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