The growing consensus in the music business these days is that the money is now in touring, and that recorded music will continue to lose value. Big shots like NIN and Radiohead are giving away whole albums for free, and a number of notable other are dipping toes into the same pool...a track at a time. Coldplay, for example, gave away "Violet Hill" from their upcoming Viva La Vida for a week. It's pretty good.
But if the money's in touring, then why is Coldplay also giving away every single ticket to their upcoming shows at Madison Square Garden (click here) and Brixton Academy (click here)? Simple. Because they're rich.