Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Let's Make a Deal

I enjoyed watching this game show when I was growing up. While watching the show, I thought to myself, "Would I really trade this for that to make a great deal for myself?" What really is a good deal? I guess that's in the eye of the beholder.

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.


The Curmudgeon said...

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?

Anonymous said...

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?