Warner Chappell: Radiohead Sold For Less, Made More
October 15, 2008 at 3:16 PM (PT)
Publisher WARNER/CHAPPELL UK has announced that over three million transactions of RADIOHEAD's "In Rainbows" have been made since its initial release about a year ago. While initial pay-what-you-want online release generated more digital income than the band made in total from its previous album, "Hail to the Thief," the publisher didn't specify the actual generated income, nor did it compare that to the income generated by the preceding album, which predominantly sold through rick-and-mortar retail.
WARNER/CHAPPELL UK head of business affairs JANE DYBALL told MUSIC ALLY that "In Rainbows" topped the charts in the U.S. and U.K. after being made available for free for three months, and sold 30,000 units in the U.S. in its first week on iTunes. The physical CD has so far sold 1.75 million units, while a boxed set version sold 100,000 units.
All told, "In Rainbows" has sold around 3 million copies in the U.S. and U.K. combined. Even so, DYBALL admits that the average price paid for the album fell as the die-hard fans purchased it first, and that free BITTORRENT downloads of "In Rainbows" outnumbered the official downloads from RADIOHEAD.COM.
Bottom line: RADIOHEAD, its management and publisher probably made more money to themselves without label involvement. Whether it generated more revenue than it would have traditionally ... still to be determined.