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Stripey

Millions chose torrents over Radiohead's own site

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Millions chose torrents over Radiohead's own site - survey | The Register

At least 2.3 million people preferred to download Radiohead's In Rainbows from torrent sites rather than the band's own site, a survey this week reports, even though the cost was the same: Zero.

includes the gem at the end of the article:

...the band said it won't repeat the experiment - nor recommend it to others.

Back in April, Thom Yorke described it as a "one-off response to a particular situation".

i.e it was just a publicity stunt.

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I don't think there is anyone who didn't think it was anything more than an experiment. I can't speak for others, but I downloaded the torrent rather than from their own web site as their download was encoded at a crappy 160kbps CBR quality. The torrent was a higher quality CD rip.

And yes, I've since bought the CD of In Rainbows.

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Publicity under the guise of radical, consumer-empowering sales ideal?

Can't think of a better band than Radiohead to achieve that. They probably have the biggest proportion of contemporary-culture-conscious, I-pod-listening pseudo-intellectuals in their fanbase than anyone else.

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good, downloading music is for dicks.

Depends in what way it is Downloaded. If you pay for downloads you are a fool imo

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There have been myriad journalists rubbing their hands with glee and taking the first chance they get to tear into Radiohead over the whole "pay what you like to download in rainbows" issue.

"A large proportion of people didn't pay a penny for it," they squeal. "Most downloaders actually went to alternative torrents," they cry. And every single one of them fails to mention the exact number of people who downloaded the album from Radiohead's website and paid for it. Why? Because then the whole thing couldn't be portrayed as an epic failure for a successful band that the press would love to see falter.

The following numbers are merely an example, but if a minority of a million downloaders (and I'm sure there were more than that in total) pay Radiohead for the album, that's still hundreds of thousands of pounds going directly to the band - without a middle man - for a recording with minimal marketing and distribution costs. And that, to me, sounds like a successful experiment.

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A way of selling punted as a great experiment.

A marketing technique cloaked in superficial idealist garb.

In a sense not giving it away at all, because there are many people wrapped up idolising the patron saints of a new musical direction, cleansed of money and advertising (though not actually).

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every single one of them fails to mention the exact number of people who downloaded the album from Radiohead's website and paid for it. Why?

because radiohead won't release the statistics, actually, and with tom yorke saying he wouldn't recommend anyone else to do it I think anyone with some intelligence can draw their own conclusions about how successfull (i.e profitable) this was compared to their previous distribution agreements.

I'm guessing what they really found out, at their expense, is just what percentage of their fanbase are gullible idiots (or "dedicated fans" depending on your perspective), because the vast majority of people who would have otherwise bought the album probably just downloaded it for nothing off torrent sites since unlike straightforward piracy, they were "giving it away for free".

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That's fair enough, but my point is that making that kind of money on an album with almost no costs other than the recording/mixing/mastering process is an impressive achievement, even if the band could have potentially made more sales.

Mind you, Thom Yorke evidently doesn't see it that way.

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but my point is that making that kind of money on an album with almost no costs other than the recording/mixing/mastering process is an impressive achievement, even if the band could have potentially made more sales.

.

Not really. As stated, the figures remain unreleased. I'm not sure how impressive an achievement it really is either. Maybe for, say Ascension it would be, but not for one of the biggest, most documented rock bands of the past ten years. The news creates itself for people that famous.

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Did they not make a fucking packet on the "deluxe" pre-order with all the extra gubbins?

FWIW, I downloaded from their site and paid nowt. Actually, i haven't listened to it yet....

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please explain why? i'm curious to know your reasons (i'm well aware there are plenty)

because i like to see what an artists output is as well as hear it. when i get a cd or a record, i like to have the whole package, i like to sit in my room, and listen to the record/cd, read the lyric book, learn the words, and look at the artwork. Its nice to appreciate the amount of time/money that a band/label have put in to their releases. And lets not forget that downloading generally is shitter sound quality.

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because i like to see what an artists output is as well as hear it. when i get a cd or a record, i like to have the whole package, i like to sit in my room, and listen to the record/cd, read the lyric book, learn the words, and look at the artwork. Its nice to appreciate the amount of time/money that a band/label have put in to their releases. And lets not forget that downloading generally is shitter sound quality.

Agreed 100%. The only way I'd download something music-wise is if the band themselves were offering up something for free. If it was scheduled for proper release though I'd buy it.

This, of course, is just my personal preference. You can all download away to your heart's content if you want.

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because i like to see what an artists output is as well as hear it. when i get a cd or a record, i like to have the whole package, i like to sit in my room, and listen to the record/cd, read the lyric book, learn the words, and look at the artwork. Its nice to appreciate the amount of time/money that a band/label have put in to their releases. And lets not forget that downloading generally is shitter sound quality.

So why does that make someone a dick if they download? I know a few people that don't have the time to sit around in a room, looking at artwork and learning the words - for them, music is a form of entertainment that can be used to accompany the daily commute. Does that make them dicks? Nope.

Choose your words more wisely, eh?

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because i like to see what an artists output is as well as hear it. when i get a cd or a record, i like to have the whole package, i like to sit in my room, and listen to the record/cd, read the lyric book, learn the words, and look at the artwork. Its nice to appreciate the amount of time/money that a band/label have put in to their releases. And lets not forget that downloading generally is shitter sound quality.

I suppose you buy breakfast cereal for the game of snakes and ladders printed on the back and the free toy that comes with it too?

It always makes me laugh when people go on about "artwork" from mass produced albums printed on cheap paper/card stock. Yes I could understand this if you mean something like a handprinted, hand folded cd sleeve that has been made with care and attention and in numbers less than the hundreds, but to go on about album artwork on the average cd or album sleeve is just as sad as admiring the design of a frosties packet.

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because i like to see what an artists output is as well as hear it. when i get a cd or a record, i like to have the whole package, i like to sit in my room, and listen to the record/cd, read the lyric book, learn the words, and look at the artwork. Its nice to appreciate the amount of time/money that a band/label have put in to their releases. And lets not forget that downloading generally is shitter sound quality.

i'd agree with Stripey here. besides lyrics are often not printed on the book so you'd more than likely end up scouring the net for them anyway. artwork is a shit point too for the reasons Stripey said.

As for downloading generally being shitter quality...times have changed since Napster and there is a number of huge sites which only deal in the utmost quality rips. The only dickheads in my opinion that download music are the people who fund the online rip-off that is iTunes...79p a track, or something like 7 an album doesn't represent value for money ESPECIALLY considering it really is poorer than CD quality.

Don't get me wrong if money wasn't an issue i'd buy a CD over downloading anyday. These days, since disposable income is pretty tight, the only CDs i buy are ones to complete a collection, or if its direct from an artist at a gig...and even then i question my sanity.

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It always makes me laugh when people go on about "artwork" from mass produced albums printed on cheap paper/card stock. Yes I could understand this if you mean something like a handprinted, hand folded cd sleeve that has been made with care and attention and in numbers less than the hundreds, but to go on about album artwork on the average cd or album sleeve is just as sad as admiring the design of a frosties packet.

Not to mention the fact that with a lot of the online music purchases you now get the full artwork and lyrics either embedded into the music tracks or supplied as a separate PDF file with the download. So the only thing you are really missing is the physical CD and plastic case.

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Not to mention the fact that with a lot of the online music purchases you now get the full artwork and lyrics either embedded into the music tracks or supplied as a separate PDF file with the download. So the only thing you are really missing is the physical CD and plastic case.

yeah absolutely, also when you're buying a CD in the shop most of the money is going to the retailer, the distributor, the label who has licensed the content etc. The internet as a means of music distribution was meant to cut out all those horrible middlemen, thus bringing down the cost of music to the consumer while increasing the actual real profit returned to the content creators themselves. In theory anyone should be able to sell their music online and keep 100% of that income (minus operational costs). Services like iTunes and the willingness of artists, aswell as consumers to accept that approach really make me sick.

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The unsavoury nature of middle-men in the music industry aside, some of us just enjoy having a physical product to hold and look through. It's maybe not the case with a lot of artists, but most of the bands I'm into do put a lot of effort into packaging etc, and I find it a very satisfying experience to look thorugh the lyrics, artwork, and various extras that have been included as part of the complete package.

The German label "Inside-Out" are particularly good for going the whole nine yards on packaging quality, even if their roster does range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

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I download all the time! In fact, since it's rained from the time i got up, i've downloaded three albums today. I don't think i'm a "dick"...! The whole argument that consists of "YOU'RE KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!", is faaaar to black and white, and quite frankly... a bit stale. I find it pretty offending when people get all preachy about such things, especially when they give off the demeanor that because they stay punx and never download, that somehow music means more to them (disclaimed; i'm not accusing anyone here of this. Just a general statement!).

I'll come back to this tomorrow at work as i'm kranky and need sleep.

(Also, downloading doesn't lead to shittier sound quality. I'm perfectly happy with my 320 kps MP3's, thank you very much!)

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I read something in Greenplastic.com that said Radiohead made more money on In Rainbows than any of their other albums.

But I think the main point of the release was that they took ages to record the album and so they wanted it out as quickly as possible, hence - free(ish) download. It was like a leak, but from the band.

Also - I've heard the "it was just a publicity stunt" argument far too many times - surely you need publicity to market a product? They done it themselves. Big deal.

Oh and yes, I got the diskbox.

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yeah absolutely, also when you're buying a CD in the shop most of the money is going to the retailer, the distributor, the label who has licensed the content etc. The internet as a means of music distribution was meant to cut out all those horrible middlemen, thus bringing down the cost of music to the consumer while increasing the actual real profit returned to the content creators themselves. In theory anyone should be able to sell their music online and keep 100% of that income (minus operational costs). Services like iTunes and the willingness of artists, aswell as consumers to accept that approach really make me sick.

but if you download music...the creators get no money whatsoever...

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