Image from WikipediaThe Chicago Tribune has a good set of numbers from the Radiohead “In Rainbows” release. As you may recall, Radiohead offered the album as a download in advance of the physical release and allowed fans to choose what price to pay for the album (if at all).
A few highlights:
- $8 million from 100,000 box sets sold
- 1.75 million CDs sold (on top of box set sales)
- 1.2 million fans on the concert tour
- 3 million copies sold overall (including digital)
- Web sales alone exceeded the total sales from their previous album
- Upon physical release, “In Rainbows” debuted atop both the U.S. and U.K. pop charts
What do you make of this? Do you think the experiment was a success? Are theses numbers indicative of a good business model despite the number of users who downloaded the album for free, or is this the effect of a quality album coupled with Radiohead’s previous popularity?
Is this evidence compelling enough to make you consider a similar model for your own work?