Coldplay Freebie Draws Healthy Crowds, Healthy Listens

Not only do people like free stuff, they are mostly accustomed to it when it comes to online music.

Recognizing that expectation, Coldplay started offering their latest single, “Violet Hill,” for free from their website starting Tuesday.

The result was a surge of traffic to coldplay.com, and a few technical snafus along the way.  The band has not disclosed specific download tallies, and the numbers are undoubtedly ticking upward.  But Last.fm was more than willing to share initial data.

According to the CBS-owned destination, the track was listened to more than 10,000 times within the first five hours of availability.  “That’s one play every two seconds,” calculated Last.fm member Christian Ward.  The group also pointed to a strong performance from “15 Step,” the Radiohead track from In Rainbows that drew 22,000 listens in 12 hours.

The Coldplay download shifts into a paid mode starting May 6th, and the larger album hits retailers in mid-June.