by Mike Masnick
Tue, Oct 23rd 2007 7:04am
Soon after Radiohead announced its plans to offer name-your-own-price downloads, the band's manager said in an interview with the Financial Times that they were doing so in order to boost CD sales. For some odd reason, this statement has apparently pissed off a bunch of people who keep submitting the FT article over and over again for weeks to say that Radiohead's decision is now suspect. However, that doesn't make any sense. As we said when Radiohead first made the announcement, it was clear from the beginning that they were trying to give them reasons to buy the CD. It wasn't a bait and switch situation at all, as they were quite upfront about it. It also isn't a bad thing. It shows the band is doing exactly what the economics suggests it should be doing: using the infinite goods (the music) to help make the scarce goods (CDs) more valuable. The band never said you had to buy the CD. It just said that you can pay what you want (including nothing at all) while also making it clear that the CD was going to be a lot more valuable to own. That seems like a smart business move. About the only mistake in there seems to be that the band accidentally made people think that it was somehow against selling CDs, even though it was clear from the beginning that the band still wanted to sell a CD version and make it worth owning.
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