Radiohead's "groundbreaking" decision to let fans choose what price to pay for 160 Kbps MP3s of "In Rainbows" was just a promotional tactic to boost CD sales, according to the band’s management.
If we didn’t believe that when people hear the music they will want to buy the CD, then we wouldn’t do what we are doing,’ Bryce Edge of Courtyard Management told Music Week, the UK’s industry magazine.Link to Idolatr item, via Warren Ellis. Meanwhile, over at Wired's music blog, Eliot Van Buskirk is tracking down the sales numbers. Nothing definitive yet, but estimates are that the act pulled in $6-$10 million on initial sales.
The Seminal estimates that Radiohead sold about $10 million-worth of albums as of 10/12, assuming that their source was correct that approximately 1.2 million people downloaded the album from the site, and that the average price paid per album was $8 (we heard that number too, but also heard that a later, more accurate average was $5, which would result in $6 million in revenue instead).Link