I just finished viewing a news report about Radiohead (http://www.radiohead.com) releasing their new album. I’m not a big Radiohead fan. But I have to say that these guys are cutting edge by the way they are releasing their new album. The only way to get their album is direct from them. Moreover, they are advance releasing their album by download. In fact, you’ll get the music two months early by downloading. But all that isn’t revolutionary. Lots of bands are doing that already. In fact, Steve Jobs made that point that point recently at the September iPod Special Event (http://www.apple.com). He stated that half of all music released this year has been released digitally only–never released on CD at all. The majority of music is never going to CD. That’s cool. But what Radiohead has done is even cooler. They are letting the buyer decide how much to pay for their album. That’s right, you can pay a nickel or twenty bucks for their new album. You decide. See a lot of people already decide. They decide that the music they listen to is not worth $10 or $15 per album and they download the music illegally. Radiohead is saying, “Fine, $10 is too much. How much are you willing to pay?” If they get only $1 per album that is money in their pocket–the reward for their talent and creativity that they might not otherwise see. I applaud their courage to take this risk and demonstrate a lot of trust in their fans. I’m looking forward to seeing how the experiment unfolds.

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