Radiohead is making its newest album, In Rainbows, available online at whatever price point consumers feel they should pay for it. The 10-track album will be released as a digital download starting October 10th. The announcement was made online by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.
When users try to order In Rainbows on Radiohead.com, they will see a question mark next to a blank price box. If you click on the question mark, the message “It’s up to you” comes up. A subsequent screen reassures fans: “No really, it’s up to you.”
Unfortunately, because In Rainbows will only be available on Radiohead’s website, the album will not be eligible for chart ranking. It’s too bad. I’m sure they’d be #1.
The band, led by Thom Yorke, are also planning a traditional CD release of In Rainbows for early 2008 that they will publish themselves. Radiohead decided not to use a record label after fulfilling their contract with EMI following their 2003 album ‘Hail to the Thief.’
Did Radiohead just hammer the last nail into the record industry’s coffin or make a huge mistake? Time will tell. In the meantime, at least we can’t get busted for downloading a torrent of In Rainbows.