In October, Radiohead released its latest album, In Rainbows, through a web site that allowed fans to decide how much they wanted to buy the album for. After only three months, Radiohead has now closed the web site, leaving fans with the option of buying the disc box online or waiting for the CD to show up at more traditional outlets at the end of the year. Radiohead is also apparently negotiating with Apple to have the album offered on iTunes.
Since the start, there has been much debate as to how successful the experiment was. Comscore, a web traffic tracking company, estimated that as much as 62 percent of downloaders paid nothing. Radiohead disputed those numbers but shutting down the site will probably revive the debate.
Hopefully Radiohead will shed some light on their decision to shutter the site. Until then, many will point to this as another failure as the music industry continues to struggle with slumping CD sales and online piracy.