Radiohead results

Cite this Article
Geoffrey A. Manne, Radiohead results, Truth on the Market (November 06, 2007),

Radiohead: In RainbowsThe results are in:  Radiohead did . . . ok.  Before I share the specifics, let me remind you of what one seemingly prescient prognosticator said a few weeks ago:

My prediction: They will receive an average price of $2 and a median price of $0.  

So what happened?

Of those who downloaded Radiohead’s digital album, In Rainbows last month, about 62 percent walked away with the music without paying a cent, reported ComScore, an Internet research company.

About 17 percent plunked down between a penny and $4, far below the $12 and $15 retail price of a CD. The next largest group (12 percent) was willing to pay between $8 and $12–the cost of most albums at Apple’s iTunes is $9.99. They were followed by the 6 percent who paid between $4.01 and $8 and 4 percent coughed up between $12 and $20.

* * *

According to ComScore, the average amount spent for all downloads came to $2.26.

So, if my calculations are correct, Radiohead received an average price of $2.26 and a median price of $0. 

Man I’m good.

By the way–read the whole article linked above.  Some interesting comments from Chris Castle on the Radiohead “experiment.”

UPDATE:  To be fair, these kinds of claims to depend a lot on the quality fo the data. See this comment from the band on the reported figures:

“In response to purely speculative figures announced in the press regarding the number of downloads and the price paid for the album, the group’s representatives would like to remind people that, as the album could only be downloaded from the band’s website, it is impossible for outside organisations to have accurate figures on sales,†they explained.

The statement added: “However, they can confirm that the figures quoted by the company comScore Inc are wholly inaccurate and in no way reflect definitive market intelligence or, indeed, the true success of the project.â€