Tag Archives: Warner Music Group

It’s official: music is worthless

Radiohead’s recent decision to make their new album In Rainbows available in an “honour box” system, exclusively on their own website, has sparked plenty of discussion.  The band, out of contract with their label, financed the recording themselves and asked fans to pay what they thought the album was worth before downloading.  It seemed to be the ultimate acid test to settle the debate every music biz employee wants an answer to: will I have a job this time next year?  Or, less bluntly: does the general public still believe that music is worth paying for?

According to online research firm ComScore, the answer is a resounding no.  According to their figures, 61% of the people who downloaded the album thought it was unreasonable to pay anything for it at all.

Only 4% of the Radiohead fans who downloaded the album paid anything approaching a normal high street retail price (between $12 and $20).  12% of the fans paid the average price of an album bought online (between $12 and $8 – iTunes average price is $10).  Another 6% coughed up the cost of a mid-price album (between $8 and $4) and 17% paid a token amount (between $4 and a penny).

Last week, two Wall Street analysts downgraded the stock of the Warner’s Music group, triggering a sharp drop in share prices.   Richard Greenfield of Pali Research wrote: “No matter how many people the RIAA sues, no matter how many
times music executives point to the growth of digital music, we believe
an increasing majority of worldwide consumers simply view recorded
music as free.”


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