Update: I was able to pay 5 pounds by using a different email adress. And let me tell you, after 4 listens, it's their best album. Heard it here first!
As you've probably heard, Radiohead's new album In Rainbows is going to be available for download from the band's Web site Oct 10 -- and apparently from nowhere else. Pre-orders being taken now. A box set is coming in December, also seemingly only available from the Web site. The download costs whatever you feel like paying. I finally managed to get in and enter what economists might call my "rational" or "optimum" price: 0 pounds and 0 pence.
But the more I think about it, the less I like it. Just because Radiohead can afford to do this doesn't mean they should. If the recorded music of the Biggest Most Bestest Band In The World 's value suddenly plummets to zilch, what does that do to the rest of the market? Up and coming bands, mid-career bands ... they have to eat and pay bills. Radiohead seems to think they'll make the money up on touring, but not everyone can do that either.
I worry for working artists when I hear stuff like this. Suppose the richest, most successful writers started printing and selling their books for free? Where would that leave the rest of us?
I wish I could go back and change my price to something reasonable, but it won't let me. Says I can only have one download. Now I am part of the problem.