Economic Insight - In Rainbows, on Torrents

Economic Insight - In Rainbows, on Torrents

01 Aug 2008

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Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’, their seventh album and first in over four years, marked a paradigm shift for the music industry. Here was an established rock band, free from its recording contract with EMI, delivering content directly to the consumer. Commencing on the 10th of October 2007 with a ‘pay what you want’ downloadable album, this was followed by a ‘made to order’ deluxe box set and then concluded with a conventional CD and iTunes release.

Whilst the project has gathered unprecedented worldwide media coverage, with much speculation on what the ‘average price paid’ might have been; there is another less intuitive but far more relevant question that has yet to be asked, or answered.  That is, did their offer of their album ‘for free’ succeed in diverting traffic away from Torrent sites, and (back) towards their own ‘venue’ of InRainbows.com? Here, Will Page, Chief Economist of the MCPSPRS Alliance, teams up with Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne Media Measurement to consider how that question can best be asked, and then analyse and interpret the data to provide
a meaningful answer.