Downloaders and Freeloaders

Nearly two-thirds of those who downloaded the new Radiohead album didn’t pay anything for it apart from the 45-pence handling charge, according to a survey by ComScore digital measurement group.

The average amount paid per download was around £2.90, far lower than the price of a CD or the amount a digital album would cost to download from the Apple iTunes store.

The U.S. company’s study showed that 38 percent of the global downloaders paid something for In Rainbows, while the remaining 62 percent were freeloaders.

Another survey conducted by the U.K.’s Record Of The Day had the number of freeloaders as being as low as 28.5 percent and the average price paid £3.88 (about US$8), 30 percent higher than the U.S. survey result.

According to Financial Times, the band’s Oxford-based management company said last month that the digital release was predominantly a promotional tactic to boost sales of a compact disc of the album, which is due out in January.

However, BBC Radio Five calculated that Radiohead netted £1.5 million from the download sales and, with no record company involved, that money goes directly to the band.

Both the ComScore and ROTD surveys said some ardent fans had paid more than £40 for the download.