Radiohead: In Rainbows Data


There was so much hubbub made about Radiohead's revolutionary release of In Rainbows we thought it might be nice to get the facts on just how successful this little experiment was.

A bit more than a year since the October 10, 2007 pay-what-you-like self-release, some conclusive statistics were made available at the recent "You Are In Control" conference in Reykjavik, Iceland.

For those who missed coverage of the conference while engrossed in something as trivial as the Presidential Debates or the world economic collapse, the following is a summation of key answers to FAQs:

* In Rainbows has sold three million copies thus far, a figure that includes downloads from, physical CDs, a deluxe 2-CD/vinyl box set, as well as sales via iTunes and other digital retailers.

* The In Rainbows deluxe edition sold 100,000 copies via Radiohead fan service W.A.S.T.E.

* Radiohead made more money prior to In Rainbows' January 2008 physical release than its total take on 2003's Hail To the Thief.

* The physical release of In Rainbows entered both the U.S. and U.K. charts at #1 in January, despite having been freely available since October 2007.

* In Rainbows was the first Radiohead album available on iTunes, where it went in at #1 in January, selling 30,000 in its first week.

In Rainbows also owns the singular distinction of being the first record widely regarded as album of the year in advance of its actual physical release: By the time TBD/ATO released In Rainbows to retail on January 1, 2008, the digital version had already topped the 2007 year-end lists at NEW YORK, THE NEW YORK TIMES, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, NPR, TIME, PEOPLE, ROLLING STONE, BLENDER, SPIN, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES and many more.

Radiohead recently concluded a world tour in Japan, one that sold over 1.2 million tickets.

Check our review of In Rainbows here, and check our live review from their summer tour here.

[Published on: 10/20/08]

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biscok1d starstar Mon 10/20/2008 09:32AM
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vespuchi2 starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/20/2008 09:36AM
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im glad this was successful for them. great album and an example of what really great artists can do if they truly want.

im curious about the pay what you want stats. how many people downloaded it free, what was the average people paid, highest ammount by a single person? those stats to me are much more interesting.

1radioheader Mon 10/20/2008 10:19AM
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I read somewhere that the average was a little over 8 dollars per download, and that they made over 3.5 million dollars, I think it was from atease.web, but as the song says, I might be wrong. . .

SmashySmashy starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/20/2008 10:43AM
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Thanks radio, I was hoping to see an average and total for the download. Good for them cutting out the middle man (record label) who literally steal from their artists by taking such a huge percentage out of the CD sales. Not to mention they saved a bunch of plastic that would ultimately become trash. I hope we see more of this to come.

JERRYmadeLIVEmusic Mon 10/20/2008 11:05AM
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Thank you Radiohead! As the worlds biggest band, it is great to see them leading the revolution against the ol school music industry.

Dire46daysWolf Mon 10/20/2008 12:17PM
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even though I'm not a fan I admire the honesty. Congrats to them for all their success.

tnspreadhead89 Mon 10/20/2008 12:23PM
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I didn't have any kind of a liking for radiohead until they came out with In Rainbows, which was definately the best album put out last year. Great sales for a great cd, the way it should be.

beatstock starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/20/2008 02:37PM
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legends making legendary progress...sorry record industries, radiohead just pissed on your parade, shredded your big day, and ruined it for all who was concerned, in their drunken punchup at your big fat wedding...LOVE you fucking guys and have since i was in 4th grade, best studio band around, best live band ever...i think i can just stop there and you either know whats up or you just haven't heard the right tunes. oh wait they're all amazing

jesposito Mon 10/20/2008 04:19PM
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this is awesome. radiohead are revolutionary whether you like it or not. they are that good that they have the luxury of giving their music away for free and still selling millions of records, all while staying under the mainstream airwaves. god bless radiohead!!!!

genel Mon 10/20/2008 09:51PM
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In Rainbows just saved me 15% on my car insurance.

briank67 starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/20/2008 10:54PM
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hopefully their success without record label interference, and with an amazing live show, will be a lesson to other bands and musicians. after getting stuck in the middle of 100,000 people at lollapalooza, i must see this band a proper venue! oh how i would love some radiohead during the holidays...

snausages Tue 10/21/2008 05:20AM
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Go Radiohead! woot woot!!! :D

jkuss80 starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/21/2008 07:30AM
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Ive seen them on the Kid A, Hail to the Thief, and In Rainbows tours plus Bonnaroo. Absolutely the best band on the planet. I just don't understand how they can top this album. Its their flippin swan song. I cant wait to hear where they go from this. With Radiohead, Raconteurs, and MMJ putting out the amazing material they are right now, I don't understand how you cant be excited about where music is going. There may be hope for us yet....

johnnygoff Tue 10/21/2008 08:27PM
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radiohead wasn't able to retire because of 'in rainbows', but they did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night...

snausages starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/22/2008 06:47AM
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agreed jkuss.

I've only seen them once...and i must say it seriously changed my life. Radiohead is definitely the greatest band on the planet if not the universe. :) I REAAAALLLY hope they tour America again next year.

peace and grease!

Jeff Kash star Mon 11/3/2008 09:18AM
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Jeff Kash

Is Radiohead the band that is highly overrated and attracts a crowd of people that paint their jeans on? Oh.. right. They are the kings of depression. Because after all, we all want to listen to music that makes us depressed and then have EMO fights about it.


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