How much will you pay for open-source Radiohead?

Radiohead is making its next album free...or whatever you want to pay.

Kate Geraghty

I just pre-paid $20 for the newest Radiohead album (available on October 10). Radiohead, now without a label/ball and chain, has decided to let its fans choose how much to pay the company. I'm actually feeling cheap right now, even though I'd pay $10.00 or less on iTunes (if Radiohead sold through iTunes, which it doesn't, because of a somewhat silly "artistic integrity" argument).

How much will you pay? It's nice to think of all the money going to Thom and crew, rather than to a Larry in a lounge suit somewhere in Los Angeles. Just as I'd prefer to pay Marten Mickos for my database than Larry Ellison. :-) But that's not the only open-source analog here.

This model arguably works much better for an established brand like Radiohead. It's not too dissimilar from how open source has fared in software: traditional markets are much more susceptible to open source than new markets because it becomes much cheaper to market an open-source application, for example, when everyone already knows what the product does.

At any rate, download and/or pay here. Just as if it were open-source software. Except that this will sound a lot better.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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