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Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Sat 6th Oct '07 3:12AM
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Radiohead have released a new album called in rainbows.

You can pre-order it at: http://www.inrainbows.com/Store/Quickindex.html

So far, so not worthy of TBQ. Until you try to pre-order the download. I recommend when you view your basket you click on both "?" just to make sure you fully understand what this thread is really about.

So, what is an album worth? Would you pay more for a band like Radiohead? U2? What about a one hit wonder like Babylon Zoo (remember him?). Because personally I don't know what to do. On one hand I can see it as a hit back against the record industry/iTunes - which means proving a band can make a lot of money this way. On the other hand, there's the thought that if I say it's worth nothing, then surely there's no point in me having it?

What is an album worth?
   

Diziet
optical moose
Sat 6th Oct '07 3:50AM
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Amanshu was bold enough to comment:

What is an album worth?



babylon zoo was not one person, it was jazz mann and my friend robin, plus robin's twin brother. robin would have made some money if it wasn't for his pesky shagging of the producer's daughter. babylon zoo would have been a decent band if it wasn't for cynical marketing and the greed of one person, jazz bloody mann (and robin's wayward cock of course).

it depends what you mean by worth. this whole radiohead thing seems like a cynical gimmick to test the fans to me. personally, i'd pay fuck all for a new radiohead album because they're a bunch of middle class tarts who need to take their heads out of their skinny little arses and start rocking out again like they used to back when they were good.

i'd pay a tenner for a white stripes album, fifteen for a pre-release of the next midlake album and i'd easily pay 100 quid for a post-death eva cassidy album.

does that answer your question?

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Sat 6th Oct '07 1:47PM
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Keep up Shu: http://forum.thedaddy.org/view_thread.html?ref_id=28501&id=28537&start=0

There's a long answer and a short answer to this question:

Short answer: Exactly what people will pay for it, and we are about to find that out.

Long answer:

It's something that has really changed in the past few years based on a number of things.

One thing that people don't necessarily realize when they talk about the declining record industry is that the CD never cost any more to produce than the Vinyl LP, but was sold at double the cost. The result of this was a massive coup for the music industry as people bought all the albums they already owned at double the price. This artificial boom was never going to last and when web retailers and supermarkets got into the act the jig was up.

The second thing is that the economics of producing an album has changed. In the 80's if you wanted to produce an album of sufficient quality to chart you needed to hire a studio with a big music desk and a multi track tape machine costing in the regions of thousands per day. Compare that to an album like "The Eraser" by Thom Yorke which was done entirely at home on a Mac Book which probably had a total cost of about 5K all in for the Mac Book, Audio interface, Copy of Logic and a couple of plugins assuming he didn't have all of this stuff before hand. Drop about 10K on top to get it professionally mastered and you've got a total spend of about 15K for a Mercury nominated album. Compare that with an album like the Joshua Tree where U2 spent a year in a top studio with a top producer. You are probably talking about at least a couple of million to get that album into the stores before any marketing spend.

The means of distribution introduces another factor into the equation with a traditional album sold for a tenner about 50p of it gets split between the performers and about 50p between the people that wrote it once the retailers, label and marketing people have taken their cut. With this new Radiohead album they don't have a label and they haven't done any promo as the media have done that for them, the product is going straight from the band to the consumer so there is no retail middle man as a result, if someone pays 10 for the album then you are probably looking at about 8 in the pockets of the band.

From the perspective of a musician this is a really interesting proposition. If I had the talent (Which I don't!) I could produce a chart quality album at home with the kit I have in my spare room. Assuming you could get a bit of Myspace publicity its not unreasonable that you could sell 5,000 downloads of your album at a fiver a pop and make a living out of it. Compare that to a top tier signing with a big name producer and and a hefty marketing spend where you are looking at owing the record industry money, getting dropped by your label and living on per diems if you only shift 50-100K albums.

I think the Radiohead idea is more than just a gimic for a couple of reasons. First of all the honesty box approach can make you a lot of money as proved, by the bagel guy and museums. Second of all when you get down to it some people will pay for the album because they feel like they should and some people will torrent it regardless and though it seems illogical its a good move to give free copies of the album to people who won't pay. People who won't buy your album will still pay to go to gigs and buy merchandise as Prince and The Charlatans have recently proved.
    

Mrsham
I lost my toes in a game of blackjack
Sat 6th Oct '07 5:35PM
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So I gave them some more (perhaps middle class) guilt money for butchering "creep" and "fake plastic trees" with some mates when we were in a crappy covers band in sixth form. I'm not sure I'm going to like it - I also boringly lost interest after OK Computer - but I like the fact I can pay better than emusic prices for it, being the mercenary sod I am.

The website adds to the "gimmick" feel - and here we are all talking about it along with the rest of the country it seems - so what a damn fine trick it is. I did laugh out loud at the fact you can pre-order your download and it being apparently Thom Yorke's idea I expect it's all partly an obscure ironic attack on modern capitalism that none of us except him and his mum really get. It'll be interesting to see if they have the balls to do it a second time when its lost the media-friendly novelty value. I'm willing to bet they do - he may be about as loony as a leftie can be (I post this as a leftie of sorts) but I think he's sincere in his looniness.

In answer to Amanshu's question, you're not going to know how much you get out of an album until a few years down the line ... but on average I'd say about 1.50.
 

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 10th Oct '07 11:16AM
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To provide some hard data I paid a fiver.
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Wed 10th Oct '07 12:28PM
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My colleague just downloaded it for free and we've had a listen. Although they are still firmly in the experimental/atmospheric end of the scale I quite like the album and found it great as some background music at work. I will quite happily pay a fiver for my own copy, whereas if it was fixed at a higher price I really wouldn't bother.
Although they're not going to make the profit they would with a normal release I think they'll get small payments from a huge amount more people and of course secure a place at the top of the download charts for a rather long time.
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Wed 10th Oct '07 1:40PM
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The bagel guy that general mentioned tells quite an interesting story
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 10th Oct '07 5:43PM
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Spanners was bold enough to comment:

Although they're not going to make the profit they would with a normal release I think they'll get small payments from a huge amount more people and of course secure a place at the top of the download charts for a rather long time.



I wouldn't be too sure. Even if you are paying 2 for the album they will still make more than a CD from HMV.
Also its a 10 track album. If they had sold it on e-music I could have bought it for 2.25 and the record label and the store would have taken a slice of that.
That's why I bought the latest White Stripes album on there. (Now if they would just start doing FLAC!)

I don't think the album will chart as the Radiohead web site isn't a registered music retailer. Could be wrong though.
    

Diziet
optical moose
Thu 11th Oct '07 8:27PM
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i'm going to eat humble pie here.

everything i've heard about this album is positive and, more importantly for me, people are saying that In Rainbows is a return to their earlier style.

i'm going to download it for free and give it a listen and if i like it i'm going to give them a fiver.

sometimes i wish i'd thought before i typed...

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Thu 11th Oct '07 9:03PM
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It is the closest thing to simple pop music with guitar and drums that they have done since The Bends and it doesn't have all that much bleepy synthesizer and paranoia going on, but be warned that what it doesn't feature is power chords, Jonny Greenwood guitar solos and rock drums.
It is however the only Radiohead album I have been compelled to bop arround the kitchen to.
I like it more with each listen.
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Sat 20th Oct '07 10:07AM
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Well I just paid a fiver for it, and made some observations:

1. It feels good to not be stealing music for a change.
2. The product itself feels more special since you've actually paid for it.
3. A fiver is a reasonable amount to pay for a CD of music. If more albums were a fiver, rather than 3-4 times that amount in the shops, people would only feel a quarter of the need to steal music anyway. No matter how good a band is, there's no way I'd pay 15-20 quid for 10-12 songs, most of which (usually) are filler anyway.

Now let's see if it's any good
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 7th Nov '07 4:11PM
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Nearly two-thirds of downloaders paid nothing for Radiohead's latest album, a survey has suggested.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7082627.stm

I'm quite disappointed to hear that most people paid nothing for the Radiohead album.
Some people are saying it was a triumph that they even got a third of people to pay, but I was hoping it would be better than that.
    

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Wed 7th Nov '07 4:22PM
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The survey doesn't say how many of the downloads were unique. ie, it doesn't take into account the people who went there and downloaded it for free to try it out, then decided they liked it and went back to pay for it (ie, downloading a second time).
  

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Wed 7th Nov '07 5:07PM
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And also the people like me, who paid for it, downloaded it, then completely mislaid it on my hard disk so downloaded it again for free with a clear conscience
  

Mrsham
I lost my toes in a game of blackjack
Wed 7th Nov '07 8:14PM
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5th Jan '07


Agentgonzo was bold enough to comment:
The survey doesn't say how many of the downloads were unique. ie, it doesn't take into account the people who went there and downloaded it for free to try it out, then decided they liked it and went back to pay for it (ie, downloading a second time).



I agree it's not clear from their press release, but I'd be surprised if they asked the question on a per download basis and not a per user basis. i.e. I reckon they'll have asked something like "Thinking about all the times you downloaded In Rainbows for your own personal use, how much did you pay for these downloads in total?" Either that or asked about each download made by the respondent and done the maths afterwards to get it to per user. They certainly shouldn't be quoting the figures the way they have if it's on a per download basis (and I know for sure that PR companies and news people get the researchers to check the way they quote stats to avoid hot water later). Did anyone do the survey?

(sorry ... i've been in market research too long ... )
 

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