"The Spaghetti Incident?"

Set lists and a little bit of Rock

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Radiohead, those crazy kids

In a bold challenge to the music industry's traditional business model, the UK band Radiohead has told fans they can pre-order a digital download of its new album and pay whatever they want.

Technically that means people could opt to pay nothing - or next to nothing - for the album.

In Rainbows, the band's seventh studio album, is due out on October 10 and can only be ordered through the band's inrainbows.com website.

In addition to the open priced digital download, Radiohead is offering a "discbox" set for £40 that includes the album in CD, vinyl and digital formats with some extras.

The unusual pricing model was made possible because the band is no longer attached to any label. Radiohead's contract with EMI/Capitol expired after the release of its last album, Hail to the Thief, in 2003.

In Rainbow contains ten tracks and will be available for download after October 10.

The pay-what-you-want price is not obvious until you "view basket" after clicking the "pre-order" button. The price of the download is left blank with only a red question mark link beside it explaining the significant of the deal.

Clicking on the question mark opens a page which says: "No really. It's up to you."

Radiohead, along with the Beatles, is one of the few big name acts whose work is not available on Apple's iTunes Store. In Radiohead's case, it's because the band is opposed to selling individual album tracks.

The radical shift shows how some in the music industry are intent on finding new ways of tackling declining sales caused by rampant illegal downloading and file sharing.

Another UK group, the Charlatans, will this later this month offer its new single You Cross My Path as a free download. The group intends to follow this up by offering a second free single and, later, a free album as a download.

In July, Prince gave away an estimated three million copies of his album 3121 in Britain when they were distributed with copies of the Daily Mail newspaper


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I lost the link from where I lifted this. Its my iron lung you see, makes me fade out.

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