You gotta love the digital marketing world. As record companies experiment with pricing and piracy, Radiohead has decided to test market a very unusual concept. You know how people use the honor system when buying rural tomatoes? Take a basket and leave some money in the cash basket? Well, Radiohead is allowing its fans (and prospective fans) to decide what they will pay for the new album entitled “In Rainbows.” Fans can also just buy or download for free single songs if they like.
If you want to pay $10, that’s fine. $2, fine too. Want it for free, just download it. Talk about letting the market decide pricing! Talk about market research!
Where they are really smart is in selling an “expansive” package of material which will include 2 vinyl LPs, a CD with extra songs, photographs and other media of interest. This version, available over the website, will retail for about US$80. This is the equivalent of playing spectacular free concert, then selling CDs and tee-shirts in the lobby. I love it. This “expansive” package supports the market maxim (which I just made up) “that which costs is of value.” When the actual CD of these 10 songs is released next year, I’m betting there will be some serious sales. Just enough to fund Radio Head’s next big idea.