Lily Allen has called Radiohead ‘arrogant’ for allowing fans to pay whatever they want to download their latest album.
Allen thinks that the band’s novel approach devalues recorded music, and does not help newer bands.
According to the press-baiting singer:
“It’s arrogant for them to give their music away for free – they’ve got millions of pounds. It sends a weird message to younger bands who haven’t done as well. You don’t choose how to pay for eggs. Why should it be different for music?”
As someone whose use of MySpace helped her to achieve mainstream success, you might think Allen would appreciate what Radiohead are trying to do i.e. bypassing the labels and delivering music straight to fans.
Contrary to what Allen thinks, this model could work out well for smaller bands too. By distributing downloads cheaply, or even for free, bands can drive demand for live shows and future album releases, as well as getting their music in front of a wider audience. Bands would also be able to retain control over their music, and avoid having to share profits with record labels.
Radiohead disputes comScore’s estimate that just 38% of people paid for the album, but even at the estimated average price of $2.26, the move would still have been a success for them
If just half a million people downloaded the album(more than 300,000 people bought the band’s last album at full price, so this seems a reasonable estimate), this is still $1.1m in income that doesn’t have to be shared with EMI.