ComScore. “Press Release: For Radiohead Fans, Does “Free” + “Download” = “Freeload”?” 5 November 2007.
This press release details a study of the online sales of Radiohead's "In Rainbows," an album the band released via a pay-what-you-want download model. The statistics obtained demonstrate clearly the presence of a "freeloader market," in which 60-62% of people will download an album for free when confronted with a pay-what-you-want option. The article offers a few different perspectives. Some experts are impressed that 40% of consumers are willing to pay "real money" for something they could get for free. Others question whether this model could be viable for less-established artists. Edward Hunter, a comScore analyst, states that this unique effort is important in that it eliminated a loss of profits due to illegal downloading.
Though these statistics are important, they are more interesting when confronted with data from (countless) other sources, which report that Radiohead's experiment was a likely success. Many different sources report that the profits made by Radiohead on In Rainbows were comparable to what they would have made under normal record-company distribution. Though those opinions and statistics can be found readily, the data regarding freeloaders is more unique to this article, which seems to expose the downside of pay-what-you-want models.