Posts Tagged ‘radiohead’


The name-your-own-price model: some data

October 26, 2009

WoG distributionIndie musicians are thinking and talking about the name-your-own-price model for digital music (what Radiohead did with their last album). There’s a dearth of data though—Radiohead, for example, never released their numbers. But last week, San Francisco-based indie game developers 2D Boy ran a NYOP birthday sale for their game World of Goo, and they plotted and shared the distribution of how much people paid for it. As well, they surveyed purchasers about why they paid what they did. (You can read their full analysis here.) One thing that really stood out for me—and that has clear parallels to musicians—was the collateral rise in full-price purchases of 2DBoy’s other titles.

The other thing that struck me was that they plotted a distribution of how many people bought the game at different price points. But that plot didn’t take into account how much money they made at each price point – one person who pays a dollar is ‘worth’ as much as 100 people who pay a penny. So I took their data and replotted it, first multiplying the number of people who paid in each price range by how much they paid (this is analogous to something I do in my day job). It’s only an approximation, since I took the amount paid as the mean of each bin but it’s probably a little lower, since a lot more people would have paid the round number than any other amount (for example, for the $2.00-$2.99 bin, I approximated the amount paid as $2.50, but I imagine a lot more people paid $2 than any other number, so that would skew the mean lower). You can see from the graph (click for a cleaner PDF) that people who paid around $5 contributed the most revenue, followed by people who paid $1 and people who paid $10.

What does this mean for musicians? Well, it seems really discouraging that most people paid the minimum amount. But you can think of this group of people as just taking a chance on you, and helping to get the word out. Because when you put it in dollar terms, the many fewer people who paid $1, $5, 0r $10 had a disproportionate impact.

Note, of course, that the NYOP model is a whole different world when you’re dealing with physical CDs, since they don’t have a negligible incremental cost.

(thanks to @zeroday for the pointer!)


How successful was the In Rainbows download?

October 15, 2008

According to today’s NME, Radiohead report that the three months of pay-what-you-will In Rainbows downloads brought in as much cash as 2003’s Hail to the Thief, although they aren’t reporting the average price. On top of that, they sold around 100 000 of the box sets, which included a couple of extra tracks (as well as the pretty packaging, of course). Looks like a pretty solid financial outcome to a good experiment.


Poor concert etiquette, illustrated

July 9, 2008

Guest blogger Scott, who’s familiar with my preferences regarding singing at concerts, says:

This isn’t necessarily a great cover, but it’s one of the best illustrations imaginable (short of a performer actually stopping and berating someone, which would be awesome) of why you don’t sing from the audience. Everyone is basically behaving themselves, except for one guy, who drunkenly sings along (and then mis-sings along) at the quietest parts of the song.

MP3: The Dresden Dolls – Karma Police [Radiohead cover]

Previously: Concert etiquette: miss debcha speaks; Listen local: The Dresden Dolls


Coverage: Vampire Weekend, “Exit Music (for a Film)”

May 8, 2008

Guest blogger Scott says:

Yet another example of “literate, geeky bands with overeducated lead singers.” Vampire Weekend isn’t the sort of sound I normally like, but any band that writes a song that starts off “Who gives a fuck about the Oxford comma?” is okay in my book. I have an idea for a project in which I develop a CD of music for each stage and process of a typical audit process [ed: Scott’s day job] that comes entirely out of my blasting “Oxford Comma” into my headphones for most of a week while I dealt with our copyeditors back in February.

So I wanted to include Vampire Weekend on this, but wasn’t aware of any covers that they had done. Fortunately, they made it comparatively easy to find by contributing to a tribute to OK Computer. Radiohead, like Vampire Weekend, is a band that, based on how I generally think of my musical preferences, I shouldn’t (and initially didn’t) like. Given their joint residence in the “music I don’t understand why I like” zone, a Vampire Weekend cover of Radiohead just seems right. Add to that the fact that the original comes from the closing credits to a film that, for all its flaws as Shakespearean theatre, still managed to be a solid cover movie, as it were, and I think this fits in very nicely.

MP3: Vampire Weekend – Exit Music (for a Film) (Radiohead cover)

Vampire Weekend: website myspace emusic

Previously: Coverage: I Hate Kate, “Major Tom”, Coverage: Self, “Ana Ng”, Coverage: The National, “Mansion on the Hill”