Thursday, October 11, 2007

Radio Head

Even if you aren't a huge Radio Head fan chances are you have some idea of who they are. For an group of artist that could have just kept riding the gravy train until it dried up I have a lot of respect for their most recent venture.

In Rainbows their new album is for sale online in DRM free MP3. That by itself is pioneering enough but the thing that really shines is the price: Pay what you want! They actually ask you to set the value of the album for yourself; something that scares the living shit out of the recording industry establishment, and Radio Head asked their customers what they thought the labor of an album was worth.

It offers an interesting conundrum, it actually took me a few minutes to decide what I thought was a fair price. It undoubtedly clocked in as a low sale for the recording industry, but with the weak dollar cost me $10 and some change. I didn't really mean to validate Steve Jobs assertion that an album is worth $10, but it felt right for a digital copy with a distribution cost that has to be only like $2 (Transatlantic data transmission costs being what they are).

In all it is another Radio Head album, lots of Tom Yorke wailing; so if that does it for you (it does for me) then you will like the album and feel happy knowing that you got to exercise free market principles for the first time in a long while. For me I haven't seen it work since bartering used to be the norm in Mexico, and that had to be back in the early 90's.

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