Being a big Radiohead fan, I was quick to go and buy their new album ‘In Rainbows’ via their website. As has been reported, there is no set price for the album – you input your own price, or get it for free. I mulled it over in my head what I should pay and in the end I opted for 7.50 pounds, equivalent to US$15. It came through on my credit card as NZ$22, which is almost exactly what I paid recently for the latest Foo Fighters CD (an actual physical CD that I bought from a shop). My reasoning for 7.50 pounds for Radiohead was that I’d pay what I usually pay for CDs – but in the knowledge that the extra profit will go to the artist (Radiohead) instead of the record company and shop. Being a fan of Radiohead – and of artists ability to earn a living independently – I figured this was fair.
However reading Fred Wilson’s post today, in which he said he paid 2 pounds for In Rainbows, made me wonder what others think is a fair price. I’m sure some people paid more than me, and others would’ve paid less. It’s chump change whatever way you look at it, for anyone earning a wage, so it’s not really about the money from the consumer’s perspective. But there is certainly an interesting principle here about what you think an album sold via an artist’s website (or their social network page) is worth. So even if you’re not a fan of Radiohead, insert your favorite artist in the poll below and let us know what you’re prepared to pay if the ‘middleman’ is cut out.