Radiohead’s publisher Warner Chappell today revealed that the band’s first ever iTunes album release sold 30,000 units in the US in week one – and explained a whole heap more concerning the band’s ‘In Rainbows’ release strategy.
These statistics put paid to any criticism that the band’s release was in any sense a failure – some highlights include:
– After being made available free for three months the album was Number 1 in the UK and in the US
– The physical CD has sold 1.75 million to date and is still top 200 UK & US
– They sold 100,000 boxsets via W.A.S.T.E.
– Nearing 17 million plays on last.fm
– 1.2 million fans will see the tour
She added that the digital income derived from the release dwarfed all the band’s previous digital publishing income and made a “material difference” to Warner Chappell UK’s digital income.
In fact, “Radiohead made more money before ‘In Rainbows’ was physically released than they made in total on the previous album ‘Hail To the Thief’.”
The key element to this information is the publishing company’s revelation that by taking all licensing functions in-house, the company and band were able to enable experimental sales attempts and indeed made more money for publisher and band than would have been possible ordinarily.
And that the band also managed to give their music away for free while doing it probably has some implications too – though the musicians were supposedly unhappy that the experiment was so widely reported it drew interviewer’s attention away from the music.
Full Disclosure: I own a box set.
Now go and read MusicAlly’s posting on this – it’s full of information.