Friday, October 12, 2007

Radiohead's pay as much you like strategy

I had every intention of buying the new Radiohead album from their website. After all, they've done exactly what I've asked for. It's DRM-free and the price is reasonable (since it's whatever I consider to be reasonable*). But I had some problems. First the site constantly timed out when I tried to connect yesterday (which I guess is a good sign since it suggests they are getting a good number of hits). When I did manage to connect and I registered, I was asked for my mobile number, which was a required field. Er, I don't have a mobile. And if I did, why do I need to give the number to you?

Unsurprisingly, the album is pretty easy to find from illegitimate sources and there are no hoops to jump through to get it from those sources. So if I wasn't fussed about a bit of copyright infringement, that's what I'd probably do.

It's clear the music industry and Radiohead are still missing the point about downloading music. Price isn't the key issue, although it's important (iTunes' pricing is completely screwed, I might as well buy the CD). Downloading has to be as easy, if not easier than the illegal alternatives.

*Since I've been disappointed with every Radiohead album released in the last ten years but have kept buying them in the hope they would repeat the brilliance of 'OK Computer', a reasonable price for me would probably not be very high.

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