The band Radiohead recently released their latest album: In rainbows. Initially they did this only on their web page. Here you where able to download the album for free and pay what you thought was appropriate

The average price paid for down load was $2.26. This should be compared with the normal royalties from CD sales.
nobody actuality know the exact size of Radioheads royalties. Since they are more popular

Additional value of the free download:

  • The free down load created more sale of the bands disk box (which according to [Comscore generated $ 2 woth of sales for every $ 1 generated from download
  • It create wast amount of publisity, the value of which seems immeasurable.
  • It gave people a chance to listen to the album before buying it.

So, was is profitable for Radiohead.

If we assume that the royalty for a sold CD would be $4, as estimated by Chris Castle, a long-time music attorney and record executive. And if we trust the comscore estimate average donation, even though Radiohead said the data was:"wholly inaccurate" and that it "in no way reflected definitive market intelligence or, indeed, the true success of the project."

Based on these assumptions and without including the additional revenue form disk box or publicity. More then 57 % of the people who downloaded the album should have bought a CD, if it had not been available for download. If that would have been the case, again with factoring in the added value, it would have been more profitable to release a normal CD.
From by personal experience that seems very unlikely

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