Radiohead Numbers Emerge, 62 Percent Paid Nothing

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Just 38 percent of Radiohead fans paid for the latest album, according to data recently supplied by comScore.

The band allowed fans to name their price for the downloadable release, In Rainbows, a closely-watched experiment.  While most fans grabbed the album for nothing, a significant percentage paid modest amounts.  According to the data, 17 percent paid an average of $4 for the album, while 12 percent paid between $8 and $12.

The result deflates the excitement surrounding the effort, heralded by many as a groundbreaking model.  It also challenges the levels of loyalty that established bands can expect from longtime fans. But 38 percent still represents a meaningful number, and earnings appear respectable.  Radiohead sold well past one million units on the album, and the band no longer pays a label cut.

Elsewhere, large numbers of fans continue to grab the album outside of the Radiohead website on free file-sharing networks, another unexpected development.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.