Radiohead is trying a new distribution method

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 1, 2007
Updated • Dec 4, 2012
Music, Music and Video

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.



Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.