Wednesday, December 19, 2007

David Byrne and Thom Yorke talk about In Rainbows and the value of music

Yorke is still a little cagey on how well their download experiment went:
Byrne: Are you making money on the download of In Rainbows?

Yorke: In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever — in terms of anything on the Net. And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.

However, the article has this, near the beginning:
In the first month, according to comScore, more than a million fans downloaded In Rainbows. Roughly 40 percent of them paid for it, at an average of $6 each, netting the band nearly $3 million. Plus, since it owns the master recording (a first for the band), Radiohead was also able to license the album for a record label to distribute the old-fashioned way — on CD. In the US, it goes on sale January 1 through TBD Records/ATO Records Group.

What nobody seems to have really worked out is how much the band netted, after bandwidth costs, transaction fees, etc. Let's say that the answer is closer to $2,000,000. If so, that would mean that they netted basically $2/album, which is not bad - probably about the same or a little more than most artists make under the major label system.



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