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Radiohead's 'free' album a money spinner

Radiohead's online experiment worked
Radiohead's online experiment worked

Radiohead have always been celebrated as being experimental, but even their decision to give away their last album was deemed by many to be a bit, well, strange.

Well, they didn't exactly give it away, more let the public decide the price of In Rainbows in downloadable form. Which in the era of BitTorrents usually means 'free'.

But the figures for the album that have finally been announced reveal that the online experiment was a veritable money spinner.

Money spinner

Website Music has revealed that music publishers Warner Chappell, at the 'You Are in Control' conference in Iceland, have let slip the figures for In Rainbows.

According to Warner Chappell, so far the album has hit three million purchases. This figure includes CDs, boxsets, and all downloads, which incorporates those who 'bought' from Radiohead's website and from other online music stores.

Interestingly, it is also revealed that the band made more money from In Rainbows' downloads – before the album was released on CD – than it did in total for their previous album Hail To The Thief.

This was enough money to make what Warner Chappell calls a "material difference" to its UK digital income.