Most fans pay zip for Radiohead album: Study



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Sixty-two per cent of people who downloaded Radiohead’s In Rainbows over a four-week period opted not to pay for it, a new study says.

Radiohead let its fans decide how much to pay for a digital copy of the band’s latest release, In Rainbows, and more than half of those who downloaded the album chose to pay nothing, according to a study by a consumer research firm.

Some 62 per cent of the people who downloaded In Rainbows in a four-week period last month opted not to pay the British alt-rockers a cent. But the remaining 38 per cent voluntarily paid an average of $6 US, according to the study by comScore Inc.

Radiohead broke with its past practice of releasing its music in CD format and through a major record label when it released its seventh studio album online itself. The biggest wrinkle was the band’s decision to let fans pay as much or as little as they wanted to download a copy.

The results of the study were drawn from data gathered from a few hundred people who are part of comScore’s database of two million computer users worldwide. The firm, which has permission to monitor the computer users’ online behaviour, did not provide a margin of error for the study’s results.

Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 29, about 1.2 million people visited the website the band set up for fans to download the album, comScore said Monday. The research firm did not say how many people in its study actually bought the album.

Among U.S. residents, about 40 per cent who downloaded the album paid to do so.

Their average payment was $8.05, the firm said.