The new Radiohead record, In Rainbows, apparently is going to break some rules.
1) the downloads will be sold at whatever price the buyer wants to pay plus a .45p service charge
2) a £40 "Discbox" which includes the CD, a heavyweight vinyl record, and an enhanced CD with additional tracks
3) the record does not appear to be in regular distribution at this time. No mention of it on Amazon yet.
I hope this goes well for them. In particular, I hope they sell a ton of downloads directly to their fans. And I hope they sell a ton of vinyl to those who still prefer to listen in high fidelity.
We’ve had the technology to allow bands to bypass traditional and online distribution for years. Clearly most bands don’t have the brands to do that. But Radiohead certainly does and they are doing just that.