Radiohead's Tip Jar
Mike Plunkett is a graduate student in the Communication Management program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
Now that a little digital dust has settled since the ground-breaking release of Radiohead's seventh studio album, In Rainbows, it might be a good time to look at the evolution of one of rock's most famed and misunderstood bands, especially since the method of purchase for this album has added to the mystique and confusion.
It's been about two weeks since the release and the band has not released final numbers; some estimate that 1.2 million units were ordered, even though the band's spokesman said that might be a bit exaggerated. Despite the lure of getting free music, the average price paid was about 4 pounds, or about $8 dollars.
To review, the album is available only via download from the band's website, www.radiohead.com, and the price is up to the customer. Other than a credit card transaction fee, customers choose what they want to pay: nothing, a little or a whole lot. In essence, the band has put out a tip jar for your patronage.