Some of you may have heard about Radiohead’s move to make their latest album, In Rainbows, available as an online download. What was unique about this was Radiohead’s decision to make the album available without a set price. In fact, the person downloading the album could give what they thought the music was worth. The album was available for download here. The media covered the release here and here, among other places. Some people scooped up the album while it was available online for free. Others paid $5, $10, or $15. I missed the boat on the download promotion, and picked up the album at Target this week for $9.99.
I’m a music junkie with not a lot of disposable income for music. I really enjoy stuff outside of mainstream radio, and was a huge fan of Texas Country while I was a student at Baylor, and became increasingly a fan of alternative music thanks to my friend David G. Argueta. David’s middle name is actually “G”.
After giving Radiohead’s new album a few spins, it is fantastic. The Bends will remain the gold standard. I will say that Radiohead’s sound has had to grow on me, but now that I’ve begun to understand what I’m hearing I think it is phenomenal.
How much money would you pay for an album from your favorite band, even if they didn’t ask you for the cash? As seen in this experiment, people pay for stuff that they believe has value. Think this has anything to teach us in areas other than marketing?