Buy Radiohead’s new album – price optional

I did – I love Radiohead beyond ordinary self-interest, though, so I paid ten pounds.

In a bold challenge to the music industry’s traditional business model, British band Radiohead have told fans they can pre-order a digital download of the band’s 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 be ordered only through the band’s website.

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 their last album, Hail to the Thief, in 2003.

This, also, I had not known:

Radiohead, along with the Beatles, are 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 British group, the Charlatans, will this later this month offer their 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.

The most exciting part, of course, is that I get a new Radiohead album in barely more than a week. It is so exciting I would shoot Seymour Glass myself, I’m so happy.


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