Radiohead release their seventh studio album today and it's only available online and you set your own price. Will you buy the album? Do you buy the idea?
With the exception of a few tracks on "Ok Computer" and the entirety of "the Bends" Radiohead has never been quite my taste. They're genius, that can't be denied, and I highly respect them, I just find them a little hard to listen to sometimes. Having said that, I will probably buy the new album as I want to support the ideology behind their release.
The band is clearly setting their fans priorities far above those of their record company or their own personal fortunes, which, as an artistic statement, is hard to deny. The idea that the price is something fluid, based on the end-user's financial ability and / or valuation of the product, rather than arbitrary numbers compiled in a board room is incredible and should be rewarded for its experimentalism if nothing else.
Personally, I will try to stick to the prices I pay for my monthly subscription to eMusic (I swear they're not paying me for all these mentions, I just like the service that much.) I pay $20 USD for 90 tracks per month. A quick check on the calculator shows that one track is valued at approximately 22 cents. Thus, if the the new Radiohead album is 10 tracks, it should be $2.20 USD. I'm tempted to actually pay more than that just as kudos for a cool concept.
One final note, if that price seems low, consider that an import album in Japan costs approximately $25 USD and the last time Radiohead played Tokyo, the cheapest ticket option was about $75 USD. So. Three albums or one concert ticket. I'd rather see them live, and if I can buy their music at this kind of price, I am much more likely to.
I'll be very curious to see where this all ends up.