More than 60 per cent of the fans who downloaded Radiohead's latest release under their pay-what-you-like scheme chose to pay nothing, according to a study by a consumer research firm.
Radiohead released In Rainbows in digital format in September, avoiding any link with a record label.
But 62 per cent of those who downloaded it in the first four weeks decided not to pay at all, according to study by comScore Inc. of Los Angeles.
Those who did decide to pay sent the British alternative rock band an average of $6 US.
Radiohead has not released data on how many downloads have been made or how much fans paid.
ComScore tracks the online behaviour of more than two million people worldwide, and the figures are based on a few hundred users from its database.
Among U.S. residents, about 40 per cent of fans who downloaded the album paid an average of $8.05 US for the privilege.
Among those outside the U.S., only 36 per cent paid and they sent an average of $4.64.
Radiohead's U.S.-based publicist said Tuesday the band had no comment on the study.
Radiohead's pay-what-you-like release, while not the first of its kind, was seen as a potential trend in the recording industry.
CD sales are falling and fans are going to the internet for music.
But recording industry representatives in Britain called the comScore results disappointing and said only a band with a large fan base, such as Radiohead, could hope to make money from that kind of release.
The results reinforce the view thatthe majority of internet users seem to expect to download music for free, said one recording executive.
In Rainbows will be released in CD format next year.