Advance sales of new Radiohead album ‘King of Limbs’ will be available in multiple formats and special edition packages at fixed prices from Radiohead’s own Sandbag-powered website; and a traditional physical and digital release will follow soon after. Fans have two choices from the King of Limbs website: digital only in MP3 or WAV bundle for $9 or $14, or a digital/physical combination in the ‘Newspaper Album’ edition – a package comprised of two clear 10″ vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve, a cd, many large pieces of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradable plastic to ‘hold it all together’. The Newspaper Album edition will cost $48 or $53 depending on whether MP3 or WAV files are chosen. Digital downloads will be available from this Saturday as stand-alone purchases or as part of the Newspaper Album edition and the physical package will ship on May 9th. The advance online strategy will be followed by a traditional physical and digital retail release on March 28th via independent labels (TBD Records in the US and Canada, XL Recordings in Europe and Hostess Entertainment in Japan and Asia).

Radiohead averaged $8 per album with the In Rainbows pay-what-you-like strategy. This time the minimum purchase price is $9. Are the band admitting that they missed out and trying to maximise profit this time? Ed O’Brien says that the campaign is about offering fans as many choices as possible – whether that is via digital file quality, special edition packages or traditional retail. Other notables: it’s a short notice presale and tracks can only be purchased as album bundles.

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