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U2 manager slams Radiohead’s free album

New U2 album is out in October, and you’ll pay as normal

According to U2's manager and 'fifth member' Paul McGuiness, Radiohead's pioneering pay-what-you-want scheme for the release of In Rainbows "backfired".

McGuinness has insisted U2 will not let fans download their music for free. He said the band would consider using "whatever technology is available", but claimed that Radiohead's decision to allow fans to pay what they want was not a strategy the Irish band will follow.

"We should all be aware that Radiohead's honesty box release of their album to some extent backfired," he told BBC 6 Music.

"Even though it was available on their own website for no money at all, if that was what you preferred to pay - 60 to 70 per cent of the people who downloaded the record stole it anyway, even though it was available for free."

Yet according to Gigwise, Radiohead netted £4.8 million from the 'honesty box' digital release of In Rainbows. The physical CD later went to Number 1 on the US Billboard chart, selling 122,323 copies in its first week. Not sufficient numbers for U2, it seems.

Speaking about U2's forthcoming album, he said: "There will be events around the release of the album but for U2 physical sales are still an enormous part of our business and we still sell a lot of actual CDs.

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

The new U2 album is slated for an October 2008 release.


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