Radiohead made it official: the band won't be giving away music like it did with the album In Rainbows.
"I think it was a one-off response to a particular situation," the band's lead singer Thom Yorke told The Hollywood Reporter. "It was one of those things where we were in the position of everyone asking us what we were going to do. I don't think it would have the same significance now anyway, if we chose to give something away again. It was a moment in time."
Many music fans had hoped that the band's now famous pay-what-you-want promotion was an attempt by the group to discover a new way to sell music. Now it appears Radiohead at best was after publicity.
Radiohead has never revealed the promotion's sales figures but there was speculation that the money wasn't very good. Nine Inch Nails, led by Trent Reznor, followed Radiohead by offering the digital version of the album Ghosts I-IV for free as well as charging for premium versions. Reznor said last month that to that point the album had generated 781,917 transactions and $1.6 million.
Reznor was critical of Radiohead during an interview with The Chicago Tribune.
"I think the way (Radiohead) parlayed it into a marketing gimmick has certainly been shrewd," Reznor said. "But if you look at what they did, it was very much a bait and switch, to get you to pay for a MySpace quality stream as a way to promote a very traditional record sale."
It appears now that among marquee artists, no one is doing more to experiment with the Internet as a distribution channel or alternative music-business models than Reznor.