Radiohead’s In Rainbows Is Bit Torrent Hit

5 08 2008

Brand: Performing Rights Society (source)

Band: Radiohead

When Radiohead decided to release In Rainbows at ‘whatever price you want to pay’ it was a bit of a PR triumph and helped to re-establish the band as the edgy, mad, creative types we always knew they were.  However it’s a great example of a plan that wasn’t that well thought through.  Would they release figures on the number of downloads?  Er, no.  ComScore, in the end, were the big winners – releasing figures saying that most downloaded the album for free.  Radiohead themselves disputed the figures – shame they still wouldn’t provide any numbers.

Amazingly, nearly a year later, this has allowed other brands like the Performing Rights Society (the people who collect the royalties for Wedding DJ’s playing ‘Angels’) to prove that the experiment didn’t really work.  Many still turned to file sharing sites to find the album.

“Even when the price approaches zero, all other things being equal, people are more likely to act habitually than to break their habit. In a digital arena, consumers go to venues where they feel comfortable,” the PRS study shows.

The solution the PRS offers, however, is rather less clearcut.  A £30 annual licence for access to ‘legal’ file sharing sites?  Per-lease!




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