Top Stuff from 2007 #3 - Radiohead and Online Release of In Rainbows
Radiohead's move to allow their fans/customers decide the value of their latest CD release, IN RAINBOWS, - and pay whatever amount they chose - was one of the most discussed (and still is) marketing/sales moves of 2007. I've posted a few times on this in 2007, believing that it marked a turning point for the industry. The actual sales numbers of their downloadable CD vary depending upon who you ask. Radiohead has claimed 1.2 million download-sales, in its first day, when IN RAINBOWS was made available online in October. In December for the UK, and January, here in the USA, the actual, physical CD went on sale...and both the album and the first singles released have done very well on the charts. In addition, they have released a special edition set with bonus discs, vinyl record versions, and a book.
My initial reaction to this concept was, as you likely read, not too good. The disposal of the compact disc at the hands of the more convenient, digital-download, was and is not something I am looking forward to. However, Radiohead's bold move, with the addtion of releasing the physical CD and then a special collectors package is EXACTLY what I can get behind. And I'm actually pulling for their move to be a success!
Coming from a background of working in the non-profit sector - RADIOHEAD's move isn't innovative at all. Non-profs have done it for decades...offering a product as a "thank you" for someone's donation. Seeing it happen in the cut-throat world of the entertainment business has proven more than a little intriguing to me. Somehow my gut tells me, regardless of who's stats you believe, that Radiohead has tapped into something...something that I think we will see happening more and more over the next few years. As long as we get nice, physical packages along with the early digital versions - it's a win-win scenario.
So that bold move comes in at number #3 in our countdown of 2007's top stuff.