Statistics released today by ComScore indicate that only 38% of fans who downloaded Radiohead’s new pay-what-you-will album “In Rainbows” paid anything at all. Of those that did pay, 17% paid $4 or less, 6% paid between $4 and $8, 12% paid between $8.01 and $12 and 4% paid more than $12.
As a publicity stunt this was a stroke of genius, but as an alternative model for musicians it might not be as effective. Sure, the band did okay (roughly 3 million dollars in a month with the only overhead being the simple website and recording costs. Not to mention the $80 box set sales and money they’ll make touring) but if the practice were to become commonplace other artists wouldn’t benefit from the same type of press coverage afforded to this experiment.