Radiohead's new business model:

Radiohead is offering downloads of their new album "In Rainbows" on their website. You name the price (including $0)
Radiohead is one of the few bands that can get away with this from a business standpoint. U2 and Pearl Jam could probably also. They are all extremely successful with a strong fan base, and none need the dough should the plan fail.

Most bands require the production, marketing and distribution support of a record company.

Sounds sort of like "magnatune"dot com...
I just heard about it 10 minutes ago. I think it will be interesting to see what happens in light of all the rights fiascos.

It should work, particularly if they tie it in with a world tour. Big name artist like Radiohead, Rolling Stones, Prince, etc. can easily gross $100,000,000+. The album sales are just the teaser.

At a very different level in sales, although not artistry, I know that Jane Siberry has been doing the same for a few years. Touring and merchandising is where the money is for working artists.
NPR did a story on the band yesterday. Since most money goes to the record company, they will actually get to keep the product of their making. As '61 notes, most revenue comes from sources apart from record sales. Still, gotta hand it to them for bypassing the evil that is most record companies!
Interesting that it will be available on vinyl in a complete set with CD and download:


Price is a bit steep at 40 Pounds...
What I found extremly interesting (and encouraging) was the number of bloggers on the NY Times page that noted the superior audio quality of vinyl, in their comments. Surely they can't all be audiophiles?
It's brilliant, there are probably millions of guys like me who would never shell out full fare for a Radiohead album, but plenty willing to pay a buck or two for the download.
I think for what you get the $80 Is very reasonable. I of course speak out as one of their Biggest fans. They are an 'Indie' band and are not a 'rock' group as The Nu Yoik Times have said, nor are they In the same league as the Supergroup the Strolling Bones or Prince even? Is he still around? or Is he still TAFKAP?
Could this pc download malarky be the beginning of the end of the over the counter cd?
Could the comparison to Prince be because Prince recently gave his newest album away for free in the UK?
Brilliant move. What nobody mentions is that very little band revenue comes from their recorded output. The record labels are only a "bank" to the band--fronting the initial recording costs against future revenue. All studio production goes against their royalties in the traditional record model, which in Radiohead's EMI case, net revenue remaining is then deluded six ways by each band member.

Bands make the bulk of their revenue from live touring and merchandise, plus any endorsement revenue, song placement or songwriting royalties. Albums generally bring pennies to each artist, and with peer-to-peer networking, the days of sales exceeding 5 million units are gone.

This move is brilliant. They bypass any label and only have to cover production costs. They own their own studio and recording rig, so now it is a pure time play--whatever revenue gained must cover this and only this. No overhead--all the buzz comes from the novelty of the promotion which is generating huge publicity. The two dollars listed above would far exceed any royalty. Zero is just a lost leader for the tours to follow.
AND? What is the verdict on the new album?

I really like the new album, it's really picking up where Kid-A left off...some of my favorites include...

House Of Cards (great bass reverb use here)
All I Need (VERY Kid-A'ish)
Weird Fishes

I really wish Radiohead would do more epic songs like Polyethylene which seem to make it onto EP's but are always omitted from LP's. Polyethylene is by far my favorite RadioHead tune and I can't think of a more 'epic' song.
I just had a chance to listen to it as well - I actually like this already as much as Kid A. Wide range of songs with some really outstanding ones:

15 Steps (great opener with explosive beats)
All I need (agree - very much in Kid A style)
House of Cards
I am concerned that the band is not providing fans a choice of formats to buy. Packaging both vinyl and cd together and charging a hefty price is, IMHO, purely in the interest of the band only and not their fans.
What about the fact it is only sold at 180bps, whats its value to Audiophiles now? I would pay $8-$10.
They're going to release a CD version of the record next year.
@spiritualized--thus screwing all the fans that bought online, since the CD release will have material not available via the download and will be released through one of the big four. Everyone thought they were enlightened... Now the sad truth is that it was a publicity stunt designed to extract more money from their fans.
Now the sad truth is that it was a publicity stunt
to extract more money from their fans.

Not if they paid 0$ for the download and now some might do this actually....

You are free to vote with your wallet. Vote 0$ if you feel that any amount is
overcharged for an mp3 file and then order the special edition version which
includes the LP to make the point for high quality releases. Just a matter of
your point of view and the statement you would like to make.
Why are some people bitter?

It's not as if they kept secret that they were releasing a CD version after; they made a press release back almost 2 weeks ago. Those who wanted to download it could the day it came out on Oct 10th, you could pay $1000000 you could pay $0. There were going to be two more releases, a special box set available in December which includes Vinyl, and 2 CD's; and a dedicated CD release early in 08'.

I paid $0 for the download as I knew I wouldn't enjoy an MP3 version of the album as much as a CD. I know many people who don't buy CD's and liked the idea of an MP3 download; they paid money.

They screwed nobody. You screwed yourself.
Yeah, I don't know some people eh? complaining about getting something they can get for free, whatever next?
I purchased my cd copy for the princely sum of $9 recently and it is a veritable musical bargain. Gotta love the 'heads'.
Superbly recorded also.