Radiohead’s much-debated decision to let fans choose what they pay for its new album online is a promotional tactic to boost sales of compact discs, the band’s management said yesterday.
“If we didn’t believe that when people hear the music they will want to buy the CD, then we wouldn’t do what we are doing,” Bryce Edge of Courtyard Management told Music Week, the UK’s industry magazine.
The decision to release In Rainbows online and to allow buyers to pay as little as they like has been lauded by some analysts as a ground-breaking model for an industry struggling to compete with free illegal downloads.
As many as half of those who registered for the download had paid more than the minimum 45p transaction fee, Mr Edge indicated, but he described the initiative as “a solution for Radiohead, not the industry”, and defended the superior quality of CD recordings.
"You can't listen to a Radiohead record on MP3 [the digital music file standard] and hear the detail; it's impossible," Mr Edge said. "We can't understand why record companies don't go on the offensive and say what a great piece of kit CDs are. CDs are undervalued and sold too cheaply."
“Too cheaply”! Tell that to the poor suckers who shelled out $205 for a bunch of low-quality sound files. Anyway, this can only mean one thing: the Google Blog Search results for “in rainbows” + ripoff will be skyrocketing faster than you can say “self-righteous Internet anger.”