Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 11:29 UK

Radiohead album idea 'backfired'

Radiohead
Radiohead stressed the "honesty box" approach was strictly a "one-off"

Radiohead's decision to offer their latest album on a pay-what-you-like basis online "to some extent backfired", U2's manager has said.

The majority of fans who downloaded In Rainbows ignored the band's website and acquired it illegally by other means, Paul McGuinness told BBC 6 Music.

"Sixty to 70% of the people who downloaded the record stole it anyway, even though it was available for free."

U2's next album - due this year - would not follow the same approach, he added.

The exact release date was "not clear yet but I would think towards the end of October", Mr McGuinness said.

"We will obviously work with whatever technology is available to make the release of the new record as interesting as possible," he added.

The Edge and Bono from U2
U2's next album will be their first full studio release in four years
"[But] for U2, physical sales are still an enormous part of our business and we still sell a lot of actual CDs."

The 10 MP3 files for In Rainbows were placed online in October, with fans invited to pay what they thought they were worth, from nothing - plus a small handling fee - to 100.

However internet monitoring company Comscore found only 38% of downloaders willingly paid, while the others who accessed Radiohead's website gave nothing.

The album went straight to number one in the UK and US when it became available on CD in January.

Radiohead's representatives were unavailable for comment.


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