October 11, 2007 by Arlen Schweiger
The customer is always right, right? So if you think buying a music album these days costs too much in some stores or too much from online download services, here’s your chance to act on what you think it should cost.
In case you haven’t heard, Britain’s critically acclaimed and popular band Radiohead released its new album, “In Rainbows,” this week in a method that has caused quite a stir. Instead of selling it in stores, it is available only as an online download or discbox pre-order.
The discbox will include a CD and vinyl version of the album, plus another disc of new songs and lyrics book for about $80. For much less—$79.99 less if you want—you can buy the download. The band has let fans pay whatever they want for it, since Radiohead is currently without a record label contract.
Whether it’s marketing genius, arrogance run amok, a message to the music industry or simply the latest step in the tidal wave toward a purely digital and hard drive-based A/V world, Radiohead has certainly received its share of publicity with its new record. Hey, the band could sign a multimillion-dollar deal tomorrow. Or they could continue down this path.
One byproduct is that it’s raised the eyebrow of someone like me who might not ordinarily buy or listen to Radiohead but is intrigued by the point they seem to be making and is willing to give a few bucks straigh to the band instead of Apple, Best Buy and others.
You can read a very favorable review of the album here. It’s interesting to note that many of the article’s commentors include how much they spent on the download.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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