After the digital release of Radiohead’s latest album sent shock waves through the music industry, the band announced Monday that “In Rainbows” will have an old-fashioned release.
A physical version of the British alt-rockers’ seventh studio album will hit music stores Jan. 1. (Earlier Monday, the band had announced Jan. 2 as the release date.) ATO Records Group will put out the disc in North America, where it will bear the band’s imprint: TBD Records.
Which label would land the right to distribute “In Rainbows” had been a matter of considerable speculation after Radiohead concluded their long-term contract with music giant EMI Group.
The band made the album available for download via their Web site last month, letting fans determine how much to pay. In a study released last week, consumer research firm comScore Inc. found that 62 percent of the people who downloaded “In Rainbows” in a four-week period opted not to pay a cent. The remaining 38 percent paid an average of $6, according to comScore.
The results of the study were drawn from data gathered from a few hundred people who are part of the firm’s database of 2 million computer users worldwide. The firm, which has permission to monitor the computer users’ online behavior, did not provide a margin of error on the study.
Radiohead’s digital release of “In Rainbows” was hailed by some as a shrewd move at a time of industrywide declining CD sales. Others viewed it as a publicity stunt that amounted to the band giving away its music.