It came at a time when the music industry needed stimulation as falling record sales and illegal downloads grabed the headlines. The pay what you want scheme was attacked, praised but not ignored.
Warner Chappell, Radiohead’s current publisher, has released sales figures for the LP which show just how successful the idea was.
1.75m full physical sales were made, with 38% of users paying to download the album in it’s entirety, at an average price of $6. There however 2.3m illegal downloads of the record in its first two months.
The 50/50 split of physical sales and illegal downloads demonstrates that Radiohead played this sublimely and Warner Chappell claim that the album generated more money in band revenues from the download and boxset, which had sales of 100,000, than the total generated by Hail To The Thief.