Is honesty the best policy?

Is there anything that hasn’t been said about the decision made by Radiohead to release their latest album download only, and to apply a psuedo-honesty box programme to the payment system?

I will say, however, that I don’t believe that it is an honesty box in it’s true form, as many pundits have been declaring. As in essence there is no set price, it isn’t relied upon that people use their concience to decide whether or not to short change the box, which is the true concept behind the technique.

How the band have benefited from this idea so far is still to be released, but it is the talk of the blogosphere, and beyond, so I cannot believe that they have done too badly.

I have spoken to a few friends who have partaken in this experiment and the amounts given have varied wildy, from £15 right down to the obligatory £0.00. From my findings I have deduced that the amount given will increase with the age of the person and will also fit in with their current downloading habits.
Ie. If they normally download illegally, being allowed to pay what they think the music is worth will not necessarily coax them into actually handing over their card details, but if they are regular downloaders from legal sources, they will dip into their pockets.

To say that this is typical of all who have downloaded In Rainbows would be a gross estimation, but I can imagine not to be far wide of the mark. We’ll have to wait and see if any statistics or trends are published any time soon.


  1. If too many people pay $0, it won’t work well for the artist.

    Music artists are being paid less and less, and I don’t see artists embracing this method that does not have a guaranteed amount of monetary sucess.

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