MR Readers’ poll about Radiohead

by on October 11, 2007 at 7:41 am in Music | Permalink

How much did you pay?  Just let us know in the comments, and those of you who wouldn’t otherwise answer, please answer and help us defeat selection bias at least in part.  Just as the heroic Tim has done (please see the second comment), I’m sure he stands up to terrorists as well.

And it’s simple: just cook the cheeseburger in milk, what’s so hard about that?  Do note the burnt milk will ruin any good pan you use.  If you’d like to read some Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook is compelling even though it is one of those books which old school feminists feel no man can possibly like.  Just be wary of the date who tells you it is his all-time favorite book.  I’ve never been persuaded by Lessing’s science fiction but some of you will wish to try it.

1 Anon October 11, 2007 at 7:51 am

I bittorrented it even though it was free.
Also, I am an IP attorney.
The album is great by the way. Will definitely see them in concert when they come to town.

2 rabbi October 11, 2007 at 8:09 am

I made a bid of 0.00 pounds. yeah: utility maximization still rules for old fashioned neoclassical economists like me… 😉

3 Gunther October 11, 2007 at 8:15 am

I paid 0 pounds. I’m treating it as a sampler; if I like it, I’ll purchase a CD.

4 Shiloh October 11, 2007 at 8:17 am

5 pounds sterling. Also, I am so thrilled about Doris Lessing. I always thought her politics would keep her from getting the Nobel.

5 Mike October 11, 2007 at 8:30 am

I paid 3 pounds. Once you take out the cut of the record company and the cost to physically manufacture cd’s, I figure their cut would be around 3 pounds anyway.

6 notmark October 11, 2007 at 8:32 am

4.70 pounds

7 Steve R October 11, 2007 at 8:36 am

I bought the discbox. My consumer surplus has been well over over $100 for 4 of their last 5 albums (Kid A is the exception), so it seems like a safe bet.

Of course, the real reason I bought it was so I could signal to Tyler how muych I like the band.

8 The Heroic Tim October 11, 2007 at 8:45 am

So – I presume this is my fifteen minutes of fame?
That’s a very generous reward for my thirty seconds of fleeting “heroism”!

9 Rice October 11, 2007 at 8:48 am

$0. Maybe more later if I like it.

10 John October 11, 2007 at 8:48 am

I paid $9.99. The preorder site was so slow, I nearly gave up. The download was very fast yesterday morning, however, so I can’t complain too much. 😀

11 Colin October 11, 2007 at 8:55 am

Three pounds, which I believe is about $6. Plus 0.5 pounds download fee.

12 aaron_m October 11, 2007 at 8:57 am

I paid 3.45 pounds with service charge, 3.00 pounds without. I would have paid a little more had their site let me listen to the album first. As it is I paid less than half the price of a “normal” download, but I think a reasonable price for an album download is about half the price the biggies charge. And the quality of the Radiohead album deserves a little more than half.

13 JoshT October 11, 2007 at 9:00 am

Paid $0.

14 cortney October 11, 2007 at 9:04 am

I calculated my best response and it came out to be zero pounds.

15 Steve October 11, 2007 at 9:09 am

4 Pounds sterling plus the service charge; and I usually do not pay for music.

16 Michael Foody October 11, 2007 at 9:11 am

1.45 with the credit charge. If I was less concerned about it being good I would have paid more. If I had been able to listen to it before purchasing I would have paid 3 or 4.

17 saturno October 11, 2007 at 9:15 am

0 through bittorrent. I enjoyed it a lot more than hail to the thief. Will buy the physical album.

18 Keith October 11, 2007 at 9:21 am

Bought the discbox ($81).

19 Chloe October 11, 2007 at 9:35 am

I would pay $3, to take part in the experiment.

20 Henrik Mintis October 11, 2007 at 9:45 am

Radio who?

21 CT October 11, 2007 at 9:50 am

3.5 pounds. Three standout tracks, the rest is decent. I’m happy.

22 Arne B October 11, 2007 at 9:53 am

I was unsure whether to me it would be worth the usual “ price” (23 euro-cent per track) or maybe even the “iTunes price”, so I listened to it beforehand (a british radio station played the whole thing) and opted for the latter. So I was willing to pay 6 pounds (incl. the service fee that would have been around 10 Euro), but changed my mind when I learned it was only available as 160 kbps mp3 files, and paid only 5.

23 aaron_m October 11, 2007 at 9:56 am

Eddie doesn’t seem to get from which population Tyler is trying to sample.

24 richard Pointer October 11, 2007 at 10:03 am

Initially 10 pounds but there was a problem with the verification code a number of times.

I lowered my price to 7.55 pounds so that it would be an even 8 pounds after the fee.

If the site was prepared 10 would have been it.

25 richard Pointer October 11, 2007 at 10:06 am

Initially 10 pounds but there was a problem with the verification code a number of times.

I lowered my price to 7.55 pounds so that it would be an even 8 pounds after the fee.

If the site was prepared 10 would have been it.

26 bjartur October 11, 2007 at 10:07 am

Zero. And I don’t see an incentive for paying more even if I end up loving it (which doesn’t seem likely from the first few tracks I’ve listened to).

27 tof October 11, 2007 at 10:13 am

i paid $5.12 and it also created a fraud alert on my credit card.

28 Macneil October 11, 2007 at 10:18 am

five pounds, plus service charge

29 mike October 11, 2007 at 10:19 am

i payed $0, and i’m an big fan of radiohead, especially kid a and amnesiac.

30 Rob October 11, 2007 at 10:21 am

0. Would have paid 2 pounds but didnt want to spend time to enter CC information.

31 Rob October 11, 2007 at 10:23 am

0. Would have paid 2 pounds but didnt want to spend time to enter CC information.

32 Ryan October 11, 2007 at 10:32 am

$4 including the bank fee

33 Anon October 11, 2007 at 10:35 am


34 seth October 11, 2007 at 10:47 am

I paid $8.99, the amazon album download price. And it is absolutely worth it.

35 HeShootsAndScores October 11, 2007 at 10:47 am

0.0 pounds.

36 Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 10:52 am

3 pounds

37 Tarek October 11, 2007 at 11:03 am

4 pounds, and the record is quite good, so I feel I got my money’s worth.

38 Andi October 11, 2007 at 11:26 am

$0, but only because they charge so much for their damn t-shirts. I feel like it evens out now.

39 Deron Bauman October 11, 2007 at 11:35 am

8 pounds.

40 Ali October 11, 2007 at 11:47 am

£5 (£5.45 after the transaction charge).
Their best since Kid A.

Do you put the cheese on the burger while it’s in the milk, or add it at the end?
Presumably you could cool the milk after to make the world’s most horrifying milkshake…

41 Matt October 11, 2007 at 12:01 pm

three quid

42 MB October 11, 2007 at 12:08 pm

zero pounds

43 cupasoup October 11, 2007 at 12:12 pm

1 pound plus the fee

44 India October 11, 2007 at 12:21 pm

£5 + the service fee.

45 Nonemoreblack October 11, 2007 at 12:35 pm

I planned to pay $5, but the site wasn’t working so I got it from BT.

46 Dave Barnes October 11, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Zero. I did not download it as the quality sucks at 160kbps. I only buy/download at 256kbps or greater. There is no excuse for doing anything less than 256.

47 Withnail October 11, 2007 at 12:48 pm

5 pounds.

48 Kieran Shah October 11, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Their website does not seem to be working, and I therefore didn’t download the album. Quick thought, on Tyler Cowan’s interview wit NPR, he said that small bands still need record labels to promote their music. With the proliferation of myspace and facebook music features, along with their respective event features, could such sites erode the need for record labels, just a thought,

49 Tony October 11, 2007 at 1:03 pm

6 pounds

50 Tony October 11, 2007 at 1:03 pm

6 pounds

51 JBJ October 11, 2007 at 1:08 pm


52 Brett October 11, 2007 at 1:13 pm

5 pounds.

53 Snaporaz October 11, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Bought the disc box album unheard. I’m a vinyl fan and to a lesser extent a Radiohead fan.

54 Graham October 11, 2007 at 1:28 pm

4 quid. The download gave me a corrupted file so the version I’ve actually heard has come from BitTorrent.

55 Brandon October 11, 2007 at 1:31 pm

I paid 10 pounds. The album is genius.

56 Ryan October 11, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Paid $0. Don’t listen to Radiohead except for what I’ve heard on the radio (Creep and Karma Police) and I just wanted to hear what all the fuss was about. Thought the music was mediocre at best.

57 Josh October 11, 2007 at 1:43 pm

bought the discbox

58 d.cous. October 11, 2007 at 2:03 pm

I wasn’t going to tell anyone, in defiance of Tyler’s signalling accusations. Perhaps my secret fear is being thought of as a snob. In any case, I can appreciate the selection bias argument enough to tell you, a group of total strangers who do not have my real name. Yay me.

I paid $9.99, the going rate for a digital album on iTunes, plus a 20% tip for their fun pricing scheme gimmick. If the CD, when released, has any more tracks, or a decently attractive packaging (as is common for Radiohead), I’ll buy that too. I wouldn’t do this for most acts, but I’ve gotten more value out of my six radiohead CDs than on most of my other CDs.

I note, not without some amusement, that the signalling can work both ways, as many commenters seem all too happy to tell thier fellow econ blog enthusiasts that they did the utility-maximizing thing by not paying anything. Granted, this form of signalling is cheaper, but twelve dollars isn’t really very much money either.

59 C October 11, 2007 at 2:07 pm

1.5 pounds.

60 Behemoth October 11, 2007 at 2:11 pm

I paid 3 pounds. And I agree, the surest way to get economists to post is to claim that if they don’t they’re contributing to selection bias.

61 d.cous. October 11, 2007 at 2:13 pm

By the way, I think the album, and having the album now instead of waiting months for a CD, is worth what I paid. It’s less cohesive than some of their strongest albums (Ok Computer, Kid A, Hail to the Theif), but is a very strong collection of songs, with some truly stand-out great tracks.

62 charlie October 11, 2007 at 2:31 pm


63 DRDR October 11, 2007 at 2:46 pm

I paid $10. First time I’ve paid for recorded music in years. I’ve also been listening to live version of these songs for months.

64 Wayne Bretski October 11, 2007 at 3:07 pm

“What’s motivating the band to distribute the album this way?”
“Just getting it out quickly. It was kind of an experiment as well; we were just doing it for ourselves and that was all. People are making a big thing about it being against the industry or trying to change things for people but it’s really not what motivated us to do it. It’s more about feeling like it was right for us and feeling bored of what we were doing before.” -Jonny Greenwood

Oh, and 1 pound 45.

65 Geoff October 11, 2007 at 3:41 pm

2.5 pounds. First album I have paid money for in three years.

66 M. Keith October 11, 2007 at 3:51 pm

5 pounds.

67 Chi October 11, 2007 at 4:06 pm

I paid 5 pounds + fee. I contemplated 0, and paying only if I liked it, but I have only paid for their last one, so figure we’re even now (unless I ever want something physical), just as you suspected.

68 john October 11, 2007 at 4:33 pm


69 Lisa October 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm

5 pounds

70 Caleb October 11, 2007 at 4:56 pm

3 pounds, plus the .45 fee.
The purchase was a disappointment. The files are low quality, and sadly, the same is true of the music they contain.

71 aaron_m October 11, 2007 at 4:59 pm

On the plus side you only paid 3.50

72 D. Greene October 11, 2007 at 5:05 pm

6.66 pounds. With the 45 p processing fee, it came out to 7.11 pounds, and appeared as a $14.92 charge on my card.

The music is great (esp. tracks 5, 9, 10), but the mp3 sound quality could be better and the mixing and mastering is questionable, but I will reserve judgment until I hear the CD quality version. Overall, it was worth it, as an opportunity to participate in a cultural event and social experiment.

73 Adam October 11, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Zip. Zero.

74 nerdbound October 11, 2007 at 5:32 pm

They have an ugly website that doesn’t work very well, so I bummed it from a friend.
As for the music itself, it starts out great and then slowly becomes mellower and mellower until it just fades away. Which is too bad. But it still starts great.

75 Lane October 11, 2007 at 5:35 pm

2. Downloaded the torrent because he disagreed with playing along with their marketing

There are so many things wrong with this it makes my head explode.

76 Hannah October 11, 2007 at 5:53 pm

I paid nothing, because if they wanted to offer that option I was going to take it. If I had to pay a minimum of five pounds, or ten pounds, I would have.

Then I bought the discbox.

To all who complained of the MP3 quality: the band did that partially to save on bandwidth and partially in the hopes of keeping the album off of places like Oink, where 192 kbps is the minimum quality for torrents. That having been said, it’s almost certain that they had to mix and master the album differently for this purpose than they would for a lossless CD. Note how Thom’s vocals and Phil’s drums are so crisp compared to the guitar and bass in most of the songs. I’m looking forward to the discbox, so I can hear what I’m missing right now, and I’m sure as hell not going to complain about the quality of a product for which I chose the price.

77 Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 6:25 pm

1 pound – I will be paying full price when the actual CD with case and artwork comes out next year.

78 Jed Christiansen October 11, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I’m a huge fan, and decided I wanted the discbox with the extra CD, the vinyl, and the artwork. That way if I do ever want to rip the songs at a higher quality, I can. Also, Radiohead album packaging from Kid A onward has always been very unique, and that adds value to me.

79 Ross Duncan October 11, 2007 at 7:38 pm

I paid £5

80 donald October 11, 2007 at 8:32 pm

My boss just told me he bought it for £5.

I neither listen to Radiohead nor make a habit of commenting on blogs, but I thought this might help beat the bias.

81 Nathan October 11, 2007 at 9:00 pm

US$20, plus the service charge. I own all their albums but have only paid for a few; it seemed like a fair exchange.

82 Anonymous October 11, 2007 at 9:09 pm

1 pound before the service fee.

83 john October 11, 2007 at 9:51 pm


84 sce44 October 11, 2007 at 10:25 pm

1 pound

85 dr. zeuss October 11, 2007 at 10:32 pm

$15 ~= 7.38 pounds, and the service charge

86 Lancer October 11, 2007 at 11:29 pm

2 pounds plus service charge. Cool album, totally worth it!

87 paul beard October 11, 2007 at 11:37 pm

£5, with £.45 service charge (or around USD10). Low bitrate files: if I had known that, I might have paid less 😉

88 Luke October 11, 2007 at 11:43 pm

3.5 pounds

no clever comment

89 SwatBrat October 12, 2007 at 12:19 am

£5 This is the first album I have actually paid for since I discovered mp3s and downloads in 1998. I appreciated the lack of a middleman, and I deeply appreciated the here-our-art.-pay-what-you-think-its-worth stance.

90 Andrew October 12, 2007 at 12:42 am


91 cyates October 12, 2007 at 1:16 am

2 pounds

92 Nick October 12, 2007 at 2:15 am

I will pay $5 when I get around to them. I want to reward them for offering it for free.

I am also a person who is only posting because you wanting people who don’t normally post to post

93 progosk October 12, 2007 at 3:05 am


94 aram October 12, 2007 at 3:56 am

50 pence (+45p transaction fee).

95 Jwo October 12, 2007 at 8:57 am

10 pounds. Considering the level of quality expected, and desire to encourage this behavior, I paid a premium.

96 Cory October 12, 2007 at 9:50 am

zero. it wouldn’t accept my debit card, so I found it somewhere else.

97 Aaron October 12, 2007 at 10:27 am

$8. It’s awesome.

I’m kind of stunned at how many people aren’t paying a cent. I’m left wondering, though — all those people who aren’t paying anything, would you have considered buying it at all if you couldn’t get it for free?

98 addie October 12, 2007 at 10:49 am

i paid 10 pounds because i love that they are putting it out themselves. i had no problems, but i preordered it. also, i am loving the album. listened to it about 7 times yesterday.

99 Rafael October 12, 2007 at 1:44 pm

2 pounds, worth every pence.

100 Grant October 12, 2007 at 6:08 pm

I paid 3.45 pounds with service charge, 3.00 pounds without.

101 Brett October 13, 2007 at 12:13 am

Two pounds before the service fee. I probably wouldn’t have bought it if they had released it in the traditional manner, I loved their early stuff. Everything since OK Computer is interesting, but not very compelling.

102 Will October 13, 2007 at 4:55 am

0. I wouldn’t have purchased otherwise.

In fact, maybe Radiohead should cut me a check. I told quite a few folks about this deal; it is quite the water cooler conversation.

103 B October 13, 2007 at 9:38 am

2.5 GBP, plus the fee.

It would have been more (I started at 5 GBP), but I had to wait a couple of days for a smooth download. I’m impatient like that.

104 qwf October 14, 2007 at 12:03 pm

3 pounds + fee

105 Hannah October 14, 2007 at 6:55 pm

I’m kind of stunned at how many people aren’t paying a cent. I’m left wondering, though — all those people who aren’t paying anything, would you have considered buying it at all if you couldn’t get it for free?

Yes, I would have. If they’d gone the route they did with all the other albums and released it in stores, I would have purchased it like always. But they gave me the option of paying nothing, so I did, and then I paid $80 for their discbox. They’ll get money from me one way or another; I spent about $500 all told to see them live twice last year and next time they tour I’ll be right in there again.

106 Steve October 14, 2007 at 11:07 pm

I paid 5.00 pounds, about $10 US right now. It seemed a fair amount for an album.

107 Richard October 15, 2007 at 4:55 pm

$0, since I only know approximately 3 Radiohead songs and I think I don’t like 2 of them. Listening the album didn’t change very much; I think I like 1 and a half songs so it might be worth a dollar or two to me.

108 Ian October 16, 2007 at 10:25 am

I was all prepared to pay £6.66 but the site crashed mid transaction. I couldn’t be arsed to enter my card details again so paid £0.00.

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