What's an album worth online?

by Jennifer Wilson, CBCNews.ca

What's an album worth when you launch it online? Most fans say nothing.

In October, British alternative rock band Radiohead launched its seventh album online, telling fans the price was "up to you".

Fans were told to decide how much a full download of the album In Rainbows was worth.

The verdict? Not much, as 62 per cent of fans paid nothing for the 42-minute album.

The remaining 38 per cent opted to pay on average $6 US, according to a study by comScore Inc. U.S. fans, of whom about 40 per cent chose to pay, paid on average $8.05. The 36 per cent of fans from other countries who paid for the album gave about $4.64.

According to comScore Inc. more than 1.2 million people visited the website where they could download the album. It did not say how many people actually bought the album. The research firm compiled its data based on a few hundred users out of its database of approximately two million users worldwide.

The band had no comment on the study. A special edition, two-disc, physical version of In Rainbows is slated for release in December. The CD release was scheduled in advance of the online sale.