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Radiohead Says Name Your Own Price for New Album 498

TechDirt is reporting that the band Radiohead has apparently chosen the path less traveled when it comes to the release of their new album. They are offering two very unique methods of purchase for their new music, the ability to name your own price for a digital download or the ability to purchase a special "discbox" which will contain the album on CD and vinyl in addition to a horde of goodies. Will be interesting to see how this new model works out for them and what it might do to more traditional methods.
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Radiohead Says Name Your Own Price for New Album

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  • direct link? (Score:5, Informative)

    by darthpenguin (206566) * on Monday October 01, 2007 @12:24PM (#20812563) Homepage
    How about a direct link to the page where you can pre-order the album (in either form)? http://www.inrainbows.com/ [inrainbows.com]
  • Re:Does... (Score:2, Informative)

    by TGTilde (874930) <todd.wilkinson0@g m a i l.com> on Monday October 01, 2007 @12:27PM (#20812613)
    Yes. You can choose no price.
  • "Unique" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Monday October 01, 2007 @12:29PM (#20812663)
    Something is either unique or it isn't.

    There's no "Somewhat unique", or "very unique".

  • by kebes (861706) on Monday October 01, 2007 @12:51PM (#20813065) Journal

    That being said, I wonder if this is some kind of strange social experiment to see if anyone actually puts more than $0 in the price box.
    It's an interesting social experiment, to be sure... but not the first. Jamendo [jamendo.com], offers Creative-Commons music for free download, and provides a link to "support the artist" if you want to. Evidently [jamendo.com], people are willing to donate money for free music.

    Magnatune [magnatune.com] also allows the buyer to set the price [magnatune.com] for an album purchase online: from $8 to $18. As far as I know, they've never released stats about how much people decide to pay.

    So, this new model is not entirely unique.

    I probably won't.
    That's your choice. Many other people (myself included) certainly will pay some amount for the album. I guess the idea is that although lots of people will download it for free, those people would probably have downloaded it for free (via P2P) anyways. At least in this case, you allow those people who value easy downloading to conveniently "do the right thing" and directly support the artist.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday October 01, 2007 @12:55PM (#20813129) Homepage
    Somebody once took me to a Radiohead show to get rid of an extra ticket. I wasn't expecting much, but I was curious enough to check it out. I have to say: They blew the doors off. They were a really, really, really solid live band, and it took me a bit by surprise. Since then I've gone back and listened to their records and gained a lot more respect for their music. It's still not necessarily my cup of tea, but if there are any mainstream rock bands working that deserve respect I would say that Radiohead is one of them.
  • Re:This is brilliant (Score:3, Informative)

    by qortra (591818) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:05PM (#20813329)
    While I mostly agree with you, please don't forget independent music store owners. These people were [mostly] not greedy; they just made a living, and the internet age left them behind. They let us listen to music before we bought it, connected us to new music that we would otherwise have been unaware of, and they never tried to sue us. Generally, these people were being screwed by the RIAA's inflated prices just like everybody else. As physical media became less popular and the RIAA refused to lower prices, the independent owners had no choice but to watch their businesses waste away.

    There really wasn't anything that anybody could could do; the moment that the internet appeared, their business model was doomed. However, please don't lump these people in with the rest of the truly greedy middlemen; these were honest people, and I for one will miss them.
  • by wishmechaos (841912) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:16PM (#20813515)
    Yes, you _are_ wrong.
  • by AsnFkr (545033) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:17PM (#20813541) Homepage Journal
    Not that it's not admirable of Radiohead to do something like this, but they aren't the first musicians to work on an electronic donation based system. Here's another "record label" that is entirely donation based: http://www.quoteunquoterecords.com/ [quoteunquoterecords.com]
  • Magnatune (Score:2, Informative)

    by bohlke (176080) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:24PM (#20813659) Journal
    Does anyone know magnatune [www.magnatune.com]?
  • by wishmechaos (841912) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:31PM (#20813793)
    http://freenetproject.org/ [freenetproject.org]

    though it's dog ass slow... and there's always the concern of being sharing stuff you don't agree with.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:39PM (#20813905)
    Let's do some math here. At even a couple dollars for the album, compared to the few cents per song that the major recording companies pay, RadioHead comes out even or better after the credit card transaction fee is subtracted. And the fans save their money to buy RH concert tickets and merchandise, where RH makes lots more money. Seems that only the RIAA record companies are cut out of the cash stream.

    That makes me cry -- not at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:18PM (#20814477)

    Actually, they'll be selling a regular CD too [pitchforkmedia.com], you'll just have to wait for it.

  • by esmrg (869061) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:19PM (#20814495)

    As far as I know, they've never released stats about how much people decide to pay.

    Now you know [magnatune.com]. They also provide you statistics for a specific album before you buy it.
  • by simong (32944) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:31PM (#20814693) Homepage
    Well, Radiohead are out of contract at the moment so they're releasing this record independently, so the costs are whatever it's cost for them to record it and get the lovely looking discboxes pressed up. Presumably they are using a download service to distribute the digital version (or there's going to be some annoyed people on Wednesday) so they take a chip, and the credit handler takes a chip (preferably not Paypal as they take 2-3%). They probably have publishing costs, but that could be their own company too. With no record company they are not affiliated the RIAA or BPI (UK equivalent) in any way, so they might be receiving a good 90-95% of the overheads before costs.
    The possible downside is that they have had to take all the risk where a record company would usually underwrite it, but Radiohead are a remarkably popular band and I would expect them to recoup. I have thought that there will be a standard CD for the shops (the supermarkets account for a considerable amount of sales in the UK for example), but this being Radiohead, well, they might not.
  • Re:Radiohead++ (Score:3, Informative)

    by Evets (629327) * on Monday October 01, 2007 @06:08PM (#20817335) Homepage Journal
    The bands always make more money off of the tours because there are less middle men between the consumers and the artists. That and their contracts for tours are significantly better than recording contracts.

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