Well, now the band Radiohead has taken this to an entirely new level with their latest album. Ever since there has been digital music, there has been a debate on what is a fair price for electronic music. And, you can't have a discussion like this without talking about music piracy.
Here's what the band has on their website (NY Times):
Yes, that's right, you fill in the price that you want to pay. This is not a joke. Believe me, when I first read the title of this article, I really didn't believe it. But, it's real. For a minimum of one British penny (about two American cents), you can have not only one song - but the entire album.
There is no maximum price, nor any other guidance, setting up what is may be the biggest experiment in digital-era music-industry pricing to date. What are people willing to pay for music? How many will pay full price? How will the average price compare to what a typical record company would likely have charged? Will people pirate it anyway?This is a pretty daring experiment - one that may redefine how music is bought and sold on the internet. I know that the Apple iTunes people and the record labels are going to be watching this very closely. I didn't even know about this band until this story, but now, I may even check them out.
Why does this sound like a recipe for disappointment for the band?
Lots of free publicity... but will volume really provide a profit at 2 cents a copy?
I think it is really a great concept. It should work out for them just by publicity and novelty factor; but in the long term?
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