Radiohead Responds to Download Stats: Says They’re False


Radiohead has decided to respond to the previous coverage of their social experiment of offering their album online at a name-your-own price. According to a study (by a third party, comScore), only 38% of downloaders paid something while the 62% majority paid nothing. And of those paying, most paid less than $4. While it was fun to speculate on what this could mean for the music industry, turns out any speculation was based on more speculation (comScore’s). Here’s what Radiohead had to 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… it is impossible for outside organisations to have accurate figures on sales.

However, they can confirm that 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.”

“True success?” So I take it the results were better than what comScore assumed. Whatever the case, the band has to know the world is interested in these numbers. I mean, come on, how can we speculate on the fate of the music industry if we don’t know Radiohead’s “true success?”

*Update* ComScore stands by its original numbers and says, “We’re confident in our data… There’s a minimal margin of error based on the size of the sample we used and the narrow range of values.” In the mean time, Radiohead tells BBC News that the real data is “not for public consumption” as “people were still downloading [the album].”

Now I’m curious to know why Radiohead is uninterested in sharing. “People still downloading” is a weak excuse at best; the band could simply release numbers for the initial month of October. What do they have to hide?

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