There are a lot of reasons why Radiohead’s sudden announcement that In Rainbows, the band’s first album in four years, is coming out Oct. 10 is a smart business move. For one thing, giving fans just 10 days of notice may help foil pirates. For another, the multi-format, box-of-goodies approach (Billboard explains the details here) is a good way for a band with no label to make a big splash in the marketplace. But what will raise the most eyebrows is the museum-pricing of In Rainbows: that is, pay what you think it’s worth. Some will be tempted to pay nothing, of course, but many fans may choose to reward the band by paying something approaching a fair retail price.
Tell me, PopWatchers: how much would you pay? And would this work for a band with a less established and devoted following than Radiohead?