If you haven’t heard, Radiohead is selling their new album online for release October 10th. The unusual part is they’re allowing fans to
pay what they want at their store – minimum is $.45 (for credit card charge), max is $205.81. You could also preorder a deluxe CD set for $80, which includes the CD, a second CD with extra material, a heavyweight vinyl version of the album, and a hardcover booklet with lyrics and other material, and that’s what most people have been buying (there’s a regular CD coming, but not ’til next year).
It’s an intriguing gambit – at least no one can use leaks as an excuse to not buy the album, and it would be hard to argue you can’t afford it, so we’ll see how often it shows up on P2P sites. But this seems more a marketing strategy than a long term goal, as some will just try to get it for as little as possible, and that’s not a good strategy for most bands (unless they’ve given up on revenue from recording and only count on touring and ancillary revenue.