The following lines are based on scattered data, flawed statistics and biased ideas. The author has no responsibilities over its consequences. It is pure imagination.
As it is widely known, Jamendo shares half of its ads revenue with artists. The amount is calculated based on pageviews of published album. According to my account, the average for the last 7 months in Jamendo was €0.00205/pageview. How many pageviews does inrainbows.com has per day? I don’t know.
Statbrain says it has 41773 visits per day (with accuracy of 49.9%). As the album’s page at Jamendo are pretty straightforward, a visitor might create around 2 pageviews. If the $/pageview relation above keeps the same average value, Radiohead would get €170.96/day and €5128.74/month. That is 5 times more than the band with most income from Jamendo! You see how Jamendo’s system works indeed thru the audience power.
At Jamendo fans would not be able to “pay what they want” to download “In Rainbows”, because you always download for free. Fans would download it for free without filling forms, fans would get cover art, ~200kbps mp3 or ~300kbps ogg downloadable by Bit Torrent (as they are doing right now) and eMule, fans would review it, rate it and share with others, put a widget on their website to spread it, and if they feel like supporting the band, they could (and would) do it anytime thru a donation (directly at the album’s page). Did I mention no bandwidth costs? Of course there would also be a link in the album page at Jamendo pointing to their official website, so people would go and order the tasty discbox.
Fans would be happier? Band would be happier? Can’t say, but I think so. As Radiohead has a huge audience, it might not make a big difference for them… but maybe, a few hundred fans would stop to see what the heck is Jamendo. Some would explore just for curiosity some other albums… people would start to realize there is a lot more music out here. Maybe break down the myth that free-music has no quality. Maybe a dozen or so would start exploring other music communities, netlabels and blogs (see some of them at ccnelas “bottombar”) and discover wonderful tunes for their lives.
Maybe next time, Radiohead! I really want Jamiroquai to read this post…