A new press release from “global Internet information provider” comScore claims that approximately 2 out of 5 people who downloaded Radiohead’s In Rainbows were actually willing to pay for it:
During the first 29 days of October, 1.2 million people worldwide visited the “In Rainbows” site, with a significant percentage of visitors ultimately downloading the album. The study showed that 38 percent of global downloaders of the album willingly paid to do so, with the remaining 62 percent choosing to pay nothing.
As someone in the majority (i.e., a freeloader), I can explain precisely what led me to pay 0.00 for my download. First, I’m not a big Radiohead fan; I would have never even considered purchasing this album without this gimmick. Second, they never mentioned what the quality of the files would be. Third, I wasn’t 100% cool with giving them my credit card information. Fourth, they let me pay nothing. Fifth, I figured if I really loved it I could go back and pay for it, or wait and buy the physical CD.
Keep in mind that just last week, I happily paid $5.00 for the Saul Williams download. I opted for the 320kbps version and was pleased to find out they embedded artwork, lyrics, and production notes into the mp3 files. Nice touch!
If you were wondering where comScore got the data, “The results of the study are based on data obtained from comScore’s worldwide database of 2 million people who have provided comScore with explicit permission to monitor their online behavior.” In other words: losers who have no interest in privacy.
MP3: Radiohead – “Nude” (live in Copenhagen, May 6, 2006) (courtesy of archive.org)
“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,” read the statement.
“As the album could only be downloaded from the band’s website, it is impossible for outside organisations to have accurate figures on sales.”
A spokesperson for Radiohead said the band’s own figures were “not for public consumption” as “people were still downloading it [the album]”.
The study was based on a survey of the online behaviour of “a few hundred” downloaders, a senior analyst for Comscore said.
“There is a small margin of error. We are confident in our data,” he added.
Uh huh. A few hundred downloaders out comScore’s “2 million” morons who allow themselves to be spied on. Sounds super reliable.