Radiohead have released pre-orders for their new album… kind of. The album is a pre-release (before release in the shops), and can only be purchased online, from their website. The most interesting part? You pay as much as you want for it.
I think this is a great idea. Not only will they get publicity but i reckon they could end up earning more.
The audience for a stunt like this is bound to pay for it, and I reckon they will pay more than the cut that Radiohead would get from album sales. For example it’s not worth getting the credit card out for less than £5 (at least in the I wouldn’t bother), so that’s between 30% and 50% of the cost of a cd in the uk. Knock of whatever overheads they have and I am pretty confident that they will end up with a larger cut. Of course to balance this out there will be people who pay the minimum amount possible, and others who pay more… because they love the band.
On top of this you have a vast amount of positive branding. You are going to get people like myself talking about how great you are (FWIW I am a fan). You get people talking about how they are giving a two finger salute to the record industry and the DRM people. You get people talking about how they are essentially giving away their latest album.
I think it’s a wonderful idea – I’m always up for trying something new – especially disruptive ideas such as this.