If it's not Chinatown or eBay, I'm a consumer that pays what I'm told to. I bargain hunt, for sure, and buy most things on sale, but I'm not a born haggler. So when I wandered over to the site for my download, I got to the sparse page that simply listed quantity, price, and subtotal. The price was an empty box.
So it got me thinking. Well, while it's true that Radiohead is no Top 40 band, I'm pretty sure that all bandmates have successfully saved for their retirement and live in well appointed British tudors and rehabbed mini-castles. So do I pay for the art of it all? Should I let the one million downloaders with more money than I pay for my broke sliding scale ass? Should I pay for a simply brilliant publicity stunt? Should I pay for what, as the New York Times speculates, could be a new movement in music to slash the rip-off facor in music consumption? Am I such a capitalist that I can't even stop for one second looking at the true cost of goods, from factory floor operator to bandwith jockey?
So I decided, depsite the fact that they probably don't need my money, that I believe in markets, sucker that I am. So I paid what I would pay on iTunes- $9.99. I punched in my 5 pounds, hoped the dollar hasn't tanked so far that it's triple the pound rather than double, and felt immense relief.
I don't know about you, but I would find it exhausting to figure out the true cost of goods for everything I bought. But for an album that will keep me ellipticalling for 45 minutes, I'll pay more than I should.