If you thought pricing innovation in downloadable music was practised only by artists you wouldn’t be embarrassed to listen to (Radiohead this month <a href="http://www.paidcontent.co.uk/entry/419-illegal-downloads-still-preferred-by-some-radiohead-listeners" title="offered their latest, In Rainbows“>offered their latest, In Rainbows, at a price determined by the buyer), witness the latest move by ageing popster Cliff Richard. Benefiting from one of the first new digital directions from the new owners of EMI, from today, his latest album Love, The Album, goes for sale via online pre-order at £7.99 – with the price dropping the more fans make the purchase. The collection has a floor minimum of £3.99 and, no matter when a customer pre-ordered, they’ll only pay the lowest final price.
It’s not the first time this model has been used, but I can’t remember which artist was first to do it. EMI is hoping viral purchasing could drive sales but the move may be mostly marketing – the label would likely have written down a minimum or median price at which the title will sell for and, at £3.99, that’s indicative of the dwindling size of Cliff’s audience; he no longer gets playlisted by most radio stations. That said, Cliff always does rather well in the run-up to Christmas, so we’ll see whether this model can do the same time around. And it may also be an attempt from EMI to show Radiohead, no longer on its artist roster, that it can come up with innovative distribution ideas despite being a major. EMI digital sales head Graeme Rogan: “There is little doubt that the digital market place has allowed us to consider more varied and exciting revenue models.”