Yorke says In Rainbows was a one-time deal

    Though there were many predictions that Radiohead’s In Rainbows signaled a sea change in the band’s attitude about distributing their music, Thom Yorke is now saying that the innovative sales strategy was a singular occurrence. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the singer characterized the decision to let fans pay whatever they wanted for the album as “a one-off response to a particular situation.” Yorke went on to point out that the decision occurred at a particular moment in time, and that he didn’t “think it would have the same significance if we chose to give something away again.” Yorke’s choice of words may be telling; one of the major knocks on Radiohead’s marketing plan was the assumption that many fans would simply download the album without paying anything. While this doubtless happened, actual sales figures have been hotly debated and can’t figure in how much the move raised the band’s already high profile. In Rainbows has also opened the door for other artists to bring music directly to their fans. Prince, Nine Inch Nails, and even anti-pirating crusaders Metallica have expressed interest in releasing albums in a similar manner. Though Radiohead might consider their strategy a solution to a particular problem, In Rainbows will undoubtedly be one of the most historically important albums in music’s digital age. [Billboard]