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article imageRadiohead to give away new album

By RobotGod     Oct 1, 2007 in Entertainment
Radiohead, the internationally renowned band, has taken the unusual step of telling fans that they can pay as much or as little as they like for the band's new album In Rainbows.
The Telegraph reports that in a break from industry tradition the UK band famous for hits like Creep, Paranoid Android and Karma Police, has told fans "it's up to you" what they pay to digitally download the album.
It's not the first time that an artist or group has opted to charge nothing for its album, but the move is significant because Radiohead is one of the biggest bands in the world.
They are free to sell their album directly from the official website because they are no longer tied to a record label. So far the album is only available to pre-order from the site, but it can be downloaded when released on October 10.
Loyal fans will probably want to pay the band something, but customers could opt to pay as little 45p - the credit card handling fee.
It is also available separately as part of a £40 box-set that includes the album on CD, two vinyl records, a CD with additional songs, photos, artwork and lyrics.
This is a bold move from a huge band. Whenever this happens it sends a strong message to the record companies and encourages more artists to do similar things.
The band might even benefit from those who ignore the box set and choose to pay nothing to download the album from Radiohead's online shop. They will be required to register their details and so become targets for future marketing campaigns.
Free albums also drive the demand for live tours. That translates into money. A great example is Prince, who in July gave away his album 3121 for free in the UK through the Daily Mail.
He then announced 21 tour dates in London, all of them sold out.
The music business is changing. That is certain.
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