The release of Radiohead‘s “In Rainbows” album has challenged the music industry’s traditional distribution and sales model by allowing consumers to determine the price they are willing to pay; a comScore study looks at downloads and online sales of “In Rainbows.”
Among the findings of comScore’s study:
- Some 38% of global downloaders of the album willingly paid, with the remaining 62% choosing to pay nothing.
- The proportion of those downloading for free in the US (60%) is only marginally lower than in the rest of the world (64%):
- While freeloaders appear to be as prevalent in the US as elsewhere, US paying customers are willing to pay far more ($8.05 per download) than international counterparts ($4.64), possibly because USÂ consumers generally have more disposable income but also because free file-sharing is more prevalent elsewhere:
- Of those who were willing to pay, the largest percentage (17%) paid less than $4.
- However, a significant percentage (12%) were willing to pay between $8-$12, or approximately the cost to download a typical album via iTunes – and those consumers accounted for more than half (52%) of all sales in dollars:
Consumers visiting the album site can also choose to purchase the Discbox, which includes a vinyl album, bonus CD, and assortment of other trinkets, at the site for a set price of approximately $80.
(For a discussion of the model adopted by Radiohead is likely to succeed, despite the prevalence of freeloaders, see the post at the comScore blog.)