Radiohead is a well known English rock band formed in 1986. They currently are under no contract with a major record label and are therefore trying to distribute their upcoming album using direct distribution and without a major publisher. The album is called In Rainbows and if things go along as planned, will be released October 10, 2007 exclusively on the Internet through direct distribution.
What makes this rather unique is the approach of the band. Instead of asking for a certain price for the album they let the fans decide what they would like to pay for it. Yes, that is right, you can pay $0 or $100 or even more if you like. Everyone may download the In Rainbows album afterwards regardless of the price they were willing to pay for it.
Even if you select to pay $0 for the album - or better a digital download of it - you have to pay a fee for the credit card transaction. This is however a very interesting experiment which will most likely be a success for Radiohead as it is a successful popular band with a huge following.
A discbox will also be released which is essentially a double vinyl/double CD release. Everyone purchasing the discbox may also download the music from the website. The discbox will be priced at £40 including shipping and handling.
The experiment seems to have been a successful one for Radiohead as the band has released new albums using a similar direct distribution model. While music is not offered anymore on a pay as much as you want basis, you may purchase the latest album of the band on their website directly. Revenue goes directly to the band as publishers are still not used by the band anymore.
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