Paying for music: As you like it


I am not much of Radiohead fan. But a certain stint of theirs caught my attention. This British alternative rock band formed way back in 1986, rising to fame with the release of The Bends (1995) and OK Computer (1997). Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001) saw the pinnacle of their popularity in the music industry.

In October 2007, they released In Rainbows. Apart from the music itself, the USP of this album release was the fact that it was available online with a BLANK in the cost field. The artists requested fans to pay what they felt was appropriate. Official figures of sales were not released, but it was reported that 1.2 million copies were downloaded on the very first day, and as it turned out, more people paid for it compared to those who did not. 🙂

"Pay what you want", they said. In my opinion this was something wonderful… an intelligent step towards anti-piracy. Music artists should get paid for their talent when we download their songs. Otherwise it’s just plain stealing. However, when it came to evaluating the price of their music, they handed the reins of judgment to their fans. "Pay what you feel like for our efforts." While some paid the standard cost of $0.99 a song, some were more generous.


Though by some standards it might seem like foolhardiness, I feel that when the artists pleads in this way to the music lover, a personal note is struck – "Please don’t steal this music… we have worked hard towards it!" It makes a greater number of people NOT download it for free.

Picture courtesy:

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