As you might have heard Radiohead dropped its major label and put its new album online for download. This is not a new strategy but what is interesting is that they don’t sell their music through iTunes for $0.99 per song or $10-12 per album but through their site only. They are moving the legal download music industry into a new direction. The album doesn’t have a fixed price but you pay what you wish.
I think this is a very clever move as it explores the boundaries of the ethics of downloading. I could go through a lot of trouble locating the new album and illegaly download or I could download it officially through their site. But this is where it gets interesting, how much am I going to pay? I could download it for only $0.99 or for the regular price of around $12.
Radiohead is the first artist that makes me think about the ethics of downloading and how much one would be willing to pay to download an album. I still haven’t made up my mind. I would feel guilty towards Radiohead if I would only pay $0.99 but I am not willing to pay $12 either. I’ve been thinking about $5 but the fact that I can’t listen to samples of the album makes the decision even harder. What would you pay for an album if you had the choice? (and now you do!)