Radiohead Releases Numbers

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

We all know that Radiohead’s most recent release In Rainbows was at the very least a cultural phenomenon, creating a name-your-own-price onslaught and sparking a long overdue dialogue between artists and the music industry.

We all know that Radiohead’s most recent release In Rainbows was at the very least a cultural phenomenon, creating a name-your-own-price onslaught and sparking a long overdue dialogue between artists and the music industry. But, as some would argue, talk can be cheap.

In the case of In Rainbows, however, talk wasn’t too shabby. Sales numbers for the critically-acclaimed album have just been released, and they’re looking pretty good.

Most who acquired the album chose to do so online (prior to the album’s December physical release) at no cost– big surprise there. But despite this majority of free downloads, In Rainbows actually netted Thom and co. more money through online sales alone than 2003’s Hail to the Thief has produced to date.

A report by Music Ally calls In Rainbows a relative success, not just in distribution but in profit for the artist. Problems that have prevent In Rainbows from being an even larger success include the almost immediate availability of the album on BitTorrent and what some see as attention taken away from Radiohead’s innovative music.

“The whole ‘pay what you like’ experiment became the story rather than the music itself,” the report explains. “And that’s not so Radiohead. The band and Thom Yorke initially found themselves answering questions about why they chose to do what they did rather than being asked about the music itself.”

In total, over three million copies of In Rainbows have been purchased (at any price level) since its October 10, 2007 release.


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