October 10th, 2007

Radiohead

Available now: Radiohead's new album, "In Rainbows

So this morning, Radiohead began offering their new album, "In Rainbows," as a download at pay-as-you-wish prices from their website. I'm still at home, so I haven't tried to actually download yet; will do that as soon as I get to the office.

Incidentally, I decided to pay 1.45 Eurobucks (I offered 1.00 and there's a 0.45 credit-card charge; I suspect you can pay 0.00 but it's still a 0.45 minimum charge).

If you plan to get a copy, too, here's their download website. It loads slowly, but way faster than I had expected for this event on release day.

Here's a track-by-track preview of the album by Rolling Stone magazine. Here's the Telegraph's story about this event.

Exciting! This is a great model for fiction, too, I think. I suggest authors look into this - a simple and cost-effective way to do this would be for authors to create a unified download site for their works so everyone wouldn't need to manage their own server farm the way Radiohead is doing. Authors, artists, and other content creators could also sell print, CD, DVD, and other media directly to customers for an agreed amount, as well, again cutting out the publisher/production house/label, distributor, and retailer in a single go.

To better consider this new concept, I've created posted a poll about this:

Poll #1069048 Radiohead's new album, "In Rainbows"

Do you plan to get this album?

Yes
4(28.6%)
No
1(7.1%)
Unsure
4(28.6%)
Already downloaded it and am listening right now!
5(35.7%)

Is this a viable model for other media, such as nonfiction, fiction, art, and movies?

Yes
7(50.0%)
No
0(0.0%)
Unsure
4(28.6%)
Are you crazy? Kids these days don't want to pay anything! We'll end up eating glue!
0(0.0%)
Other - I'll explain in comments.
3(21.4%)

If you've downloaded this album, how much did you pay? (This poll is only able to use whole increments; units are Eurobucks.)

Mean: 5.25 Median: 5 Std. Dev 3.90
0(0.0%)
0
1(25.0%)
1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
0(0.0%)
4
0(0.0%)
5
2(50.0%)
6
0(0.0%)
7
0(0.0%)
8
0(0.0%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
0(0.0%)
11
1(25.0%)
12
0(0.0%)
13
0(0.0%)
14
0(0.0%)
15
0(0.0%)
16
0(0.0%)
17
0(0.0%)
18
0(0.0%)
19
0(0.0%)
20
0(0.0%)

If you've registered for this album or plan to do so, will you then post the music for free download elsewhere?

Information wants to be free - of course I will!
1(8.3%)
Are you nuts? How could the artists continue to make their art if it's pirated like that?
1(8.3%)
Maybe, because the only people who download without paying are losers.
1(8.3%)
Yes, but only for my close friends.
2(16.7%)
No, but I'll save the link for future personal downloads.
7(58.3%)
Unsure.
0(0.0%)

What are your thoughts about this free- or cheap-download offer? (If your answer is longer than 100 characters, please respond in comments.)


Best,
Chris