Post-rock heavyweights Radiohead are the latest / weirdest critic of panel-based data, having responded to comScore’s claim that less than 40% of ‘In Rainbows’ downloaders paid anything for the album.

The group was roundly applauded when it decided to release its latest album directly via its website, with fans able to name their own price.

The savvy PR infantry at comScore swiftly noticed an opportunity to bag some exposure and subsequently released some data to the media. The findings? Just 38% of fans paid for the record, and the average amount paid was a mere £2.87.

But according to the band, these numbers are rotten…

In a statement issued by the band, they say:

“In response to purely speculative figures announced in the press regarding the number of downloads and the price paid for the album, the group’s representatives would like to remind people that, as the album could only be downloaded from the band’s website, it is impossible for outside organisations to have accurate figures on sales.”

Damn straight. Maybe accurate within comScore’s panel, but extrapolation is always a dangerous game in the data business.

Anything else to add, fellas?

“The figures quoted by the company comScore Inc are wholly inaccurate and in no way reflect definitive market intelligence or, indeed, the true success of the project.”

Bang! I have previously criticised media buyers for placing rather too much faith in panel-based data, but I never thought Thom Yorke and pals would get in on the act. Maybe there’s a song in it somewhere…

Further Reading

Just 38% pay for Radiohead album – study