Radiohead’s experiment to sell its latest album, In Rainbows, via its website at a fee set by customers comes to a close today, with a statement at the site reading: “It’s been the most positive thing we’ve done and we hope you shared the experience with others”.
What do we find at the end of this rainbow? A far more conventional approach to music distribution. The band is in “ongoing” talks with iTunes Music Store to sell the album, the quintet’s manager tells Billboard, while it has struck a number of record deals to issue In Rainbows on CD in the New Year as planned and now hopes to sell the premium box set – previously available online only – on the high street.
Other than tracks appearing on compilations, Radiohead’s EMI back-catalogue prior to In Rainbows was not available via online retailers because the band wants its albums to be consumed in their entirety rather than have songs cherrypicked. But Hackney-based 7digital struck an exclusive deal in September to sell the band’s full albums and singles. It’s not known whether the iTunes talks refer also to the back-catalogue, but it’s clear the band has learned plenty since embarking on the <i.In Rainbows experiment in October.