Radiohead freebie spells more trouble for labels


Alternative act Radiohead has been making headlines with its plan to offer its latest collection of tunes as a download from its website. The price? Whatever fans think it is worth, whether that works out to 10 dollars, two dollars or nothing. While observers expect quite a few of the band’s fans will take the free option, it believes many of the more conscientious members of its base will contribute to the band. The offering is also a gateway to other products being offered on the website that will carry a substantial price tag. Conventional industry insider wisdom holds that all it will take is for 20% of the downloaders to pony up five dollars to match the one dollar per CD that is usually the artist cut when a major label is involved.