After receiving mixed success with debuting its latest album online, Radiohead has announced New Year's Day as the upcoming old-fashioned release date for In Rainbows.
In a statement Monday, the acclaimed British band said the physical CD version of its new, seventh album will hit stores on Jan. 1.
Radiohead sent shockwaves through the music industry when its members announced in early October that they would offer In Rainbows as a digital download via their official website, where fans could pay whatever price they chose for the 10-track studio album.
A special edition set of the album — including two discs of music, artwork and lyrics — was also offered for sale on the site and was scheduled for shipment in December.
The alt-rock band, which fulfilled its long-term contract with record label EMI with its 2003 albumHail to the Thief, later revealed that it wasalso in talks to release In Rainbows more traditionally, with a physical CD to turn up in stores in the new year.
Though many independent recording artists have offered their albums to fans through a pay-what-you-will model online, Radiohead was touted as the highest-profile group ever to do so.
Online tracking firms reported tens of thousands of downloads of the Radiohead release in the initial days of release in October.
However, a subsequent study four weeks later by consumer research firm comScore Inc. found that 62 per cent of those who downloaded In Rainbows decided to pay nothing at all. Those who did paid an average of $6 US for the digital tracks.
Radiohead and its frontman, Thom Yorke, are among those in the recording industry who have questioned the traditional music model and the dominance of record labels.
Following the Radiohead announcement in October, several other artists appeared to be moving in a similar direction.
Nine Inch Nails announced it was ending its connection with its record label, while Madonna signed a $120-million contract with concert promoter Live Nation instead of renewing with longtime label partner Warner.
Also, veteran British musician Cliff Richard offered a scheme where the more people who registered online to download his new album, Love, ahead of its mid-November release in stores, the lower he would set the eventual sale price.