Report: 1.2 Million Radiohead Downloads -- So Far
October 12, 2007 at 5:41 AM (PT)
The BRITISH music Web site GIGWISE is reporting that RADIOHEAD has sold 1.2 million digital copies of its latest album, "In Rainbows," since sales began on TUESDAY, reports SALON.COM. If true, the number would be a blow-out, suggesting the wisdom of the band's decision to sell its wares directly to fans without the aid of a record label.
The figure dwarfs first-week sales of RADIOHEAD's recent studio albums. "Hail to the Thief," released in 2003, racked up 300,000 sales in its first week; "Amnesiac" managed 231,000 copies in 2001; and "Kid A" hit 207,000 in 2000.
Moreover, of course, RADIOHEAD is allowing fans to pick their price for the album, and the band hasn't given any indication of what fans have been paying. If people are paying nothing or next to nothing, huge sales won't amount to much. But we may have a clue. The BRITISH music newsletter RECORD OF THE DAY conducted a poll of 3,000 purchasers of the album. People paid an average price of £4, about $8, the newsletter found.
Because the band isn't working with a record label, it gets to keep all that money. If it had sold its songs instead on ITUNES, it would likely have seen less than $1.50 per album. Which means that if all these numbers are right -- 1.2 million units at $8 each -- THOM YORKE and his pals are seeing a lot of green right now.