Radiohead Leaks Its Own Track To BitTorrent; Apparently Still Happy With 'Free'

from the oh-look-at-that dept

Last week we did some debunking on the unsupported idea that just because Radiohead was sick of recording full albums, it somehow meant that the band's business model experiment had been a failure, and that the band did not like using "free" as a part of its business model. Amazingly, the usual cast of characters in our comments continued to insist that Radiohead had clearly learned that "free" doesn't pay. Amusingly, that very same day a "brand new" Radiohead track suddenly appeared on BitTorrent, leading to all sorts of speculation (much of it wrong). But on Monday, the band not only officially released the track for free, but in order to distribute it, it pointed to the very same torrent tracker that had been uploaded last week. In other words, the band leaked its own latest song (for free) via BitTorrent, let the buzz build, and then officially announced the "release" a few days later. But, of course, we're to believe our commenting friends who insist that the band learned that "free" doesn't work?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 8:58am

    Radiohead has no record deal and no other way to release their material. Sounds more like a screw up, that someone put it on a torrent tracker and peered it days before it should have been done.

    If I had the fan base of Radiohead and the money they have, I would do the same thing, because I wouldn't care.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    Wait so...

    1) Radiohead has no label.

    2) Radiohead can produce and distribute songs just fine on its own.

    3) Radiohead "learned" that free is a bad idea.

    4) Radiohead doesn't care if its songs are free, and promotes its free songs.

    So, the labels are necessary but unnecessary, and free is bad and good.

    Nice to see some logical thinking here.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    Ooh, ooh, me! Me! I know!

    The answer is simple: Radiohead is trying to make the best of an UNAUTHORIZED LEAK of a new track they were PLANNING on CHARGING for; but since it's out there, as a forward-thinking organization, they are accepting the fact that their music was STOLEN and are just looking for better DRM for the next release.

    Did I hit all the buzzwords?

     

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  4.  
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    razy, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:11am

    Kind of an interesting way to look at it. Torrents work by seeds and peers. If there is a lot of seeds a lot of people have it and are contributing to the distribution of the track. Bigger audience = more fans = more popularity.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    So you postulate that the 'leak' was just poor timing between the main site and the guy seeding the torrent and not a marketing scheme. With no evidence. Ignoring typical marketing tactics where they try to stir things up before an official release... Ok that's fine. It's fun to think up of different reasons why things occured.

    Then you state that if you had the fan base and money of Radiohead you would also give it away for free cause you "wouldn't care"

    Do you give to charity cause you "Don't care"? Do you give blood cause you "don't care" because your body can just produce more? Why would someone do something if they didn't care?

    I can see taking a position of inaction in a state of "not caring" but to go about and make an official release shows that there is some caring going on. So there must be a motive.

     

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  6.  
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    Sonny, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    listen here

    Lets see..
    Radiohead sells In Rainbows for any price the fan wants.
    They have been known to complain about poor quality FREE releases on bitTorrent.
    Why is this such a surprise that Radiohead would release their own high quality track on purpose?
    Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails did this a year or two ago.
    This isn't new marketing genius or a mistake,
    This is Radiohead and Trent saying "**** you record labels"
    And guess what, I fully support that.
    I'm buying whatever they release.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re:

    5) Radiohead has a huge fan base built up in it's years promoted by record labels

    6) Radiohead have made enough money that they have no concern about income

    Basically, it works because of who they are, not what it is.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    Re: listen here

    There is no surprise. The song is a quickly bashed out "tribute" to the last survivor of WW1 who recently died in the UK. It had no commercial intentions, and likely will never be heard outside of their immediate fan base.

    "This is Radiohead and Trent saying "**** you record labels"
    And guess what, I fully support that."

    ...and they only got there because of record labels. Sort of twisted, isn't it?

     

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  9.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re:

    If I had the fan base of Radiohead and the money they have, I would do the same thing, because I wouldn't care.

    aka, it wouldn't work for a smaller, unknown band?

    Hot damn, I love Masnick's Law. (on the first post, even!)

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    I swear, if these Anonymous Shills spent half as much time thinking up new business models as they spend posting on Techdirt, the site would soon have no reason to exist.

     

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  11.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: listen here

    ...and they only got there because of record labels.

    Yes, in the 90's. The Record Labels' role has changed, whether they like it or not. They are no longer *required* to market a band. Especially if that band wants to keep control of their art.

    It must be tough to have all that power and still be powerless to stop the slow, steady decline into being a simple middleman. It reminds me of Flowers for Algernon. Sad.

     

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  12.  
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    Different Mike, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Why so anonymous anyway?

    Anonymous, you sound like a shill. You say Radiohead and NIN can only do this because they are big. Then when the small bands also do the same thing (successfully) you probably say it only works because they are small. The 21st century started over 8 years ago, maybe you should try joining us.

     

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  13.  
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    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    Masnicks law... is in full effect today with our shills...

    it only works cause their Huge, because of the Labels
    it only works cause their small, --

    Guess to be a Label Shill and/or RIAA Shill Logic is not required... maybe thats why the computer generations cant stand the Labels, we like computers, therefore logic, and can stand the Illogic of the labels.

     

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  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: listen here

    "...and they only got there because of record labels. Sort of twisted, isn't it?"

    One of my favorite arguments, because it leads to only one extremely obvious conclusion. Assuming what you're saying is true, and I'm prepared to do so in a decent percentage of cases, then a band can get popular using the promotion power of traditional labels before going out on their own and marketing themselves.

    That sounds like an excellent service and business model....if they got paid a one time fee for services rendered. Why are they getting residuals after the fact? They service they are providing, according to you, is the popularity push. They aren't making the music, they aren't adding anything else other than the popularit push.

    So labels are a PR firm....fine, they should get paid like a PR firm.

     

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  15.  
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    Take me drunk, I'm home, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Ooh, ooh, me! Me! I know!

    >Did I hit all the buzzwords?

    Missed **AA

    BTW was playing Music Buzzword Shot Game. I'm so wasted....

     

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  16.  
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    scarr (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: listen here

    No, it isn't about Harry Patch or WWI. You're talking about the wrong song. That song was released with all profits going to the Royal British Legion.

    I don't think anything you give away for free can have "commercial intentions".

     

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  17.  
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    Excuse Me, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: listen here

    "...and they only got there because of record labels. Sort of twisted, isn't it?"

    Please prove there were zero radiohead fans before their record deal.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re: Ooh, ooh, me! Me! I know!

    Do you have evidence for this or are you just speculating?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: Ooh, ooh, me! Me! I know!

    "The answer is simple: Radiohead is trying to make the best of an UNAUTHORIZED LEAK of a new track they were PLANNING on CHARGING for"

    Who are you to speak for Radiohead? Why should I believe what you say over what they say since they are clearly in a better position than you to tell us why they are giving away their music?

     

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  20.  
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    Shawn (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:22am

    New Techdirt’s CwF+RtB idea - if 50 of Insider memberships are bought in the next X Number of days we will recode the blog to replace the auto insertion of Anonymous Coward to Anonymous Shill for unregistered User comments.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Re:

    Be careful, let people be able to choose their nicks because then it gives people the opportunity to allow others to follow along a specific person as he posts multiple things.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    and, as others have pointed out, it has worked for small artists too (as Techdirt even has some blog threads about). So what's your argument for that, "well, they're small so they can afford to give away cheaper music." So you just have an excuse for all the evidence that disagrees with you then.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: listen here

    Nice one Dark Helmet, sadly I doubt this will shut the jerks up.

     

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  24.  
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    Shawn (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re:

    yes, I was kinda kidding but the 'idea' is not to change anything but the auto insertion of 'Anonymous Coward' to read 'Anonymous Shill' ;)

     

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  25.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "yes, I was kinda kidding but the 'idea' is not to change anything but the auto insertion of 'Anonymous Coward' to read 'Anonymous Shill' ;)"

    Change to Anonymous Harold or Weird Coward and I'm on board...

     

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  26.  
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    Excuse Me, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: listen here

    Goodness the typos. Not enough coffee this morning helmet head?

     

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  27.  
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    Leviathant (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: listen here

    "...and they only got there because of record labels"

    In Trent's case, "in SPITE of" record labels. Do a little research. Trent's first label called his first album "an abortion", and refused to fund his touring. He funded the recording of his next album/EP by getting on the Lollapalooza lineup - which happened because of his live performances, not label influence. Every release he put out, he fought tooth and nail with the record labels to have them delivered as he intended.

    And when he quit the labels, he released a double album of instrumental tracks - something the labels would have nixed right off the bat - and made a mint in under 48 hours.

     

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  28.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Re: Ooh, ooh, me! Me! I know!

    I believe you should have said pirated instead of stolen. 10 out of 10 for effort though.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: listen here

    Then you haven't been reading TechDirt for very long...

     

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  30.  
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    Drawoc Suomynona, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Ooh, ooh, me! Me! I know!

    He is not speaking seriously, you simpleton.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, now, I resemble that remark...

    And, by the way, I apparently (see #19) forgot to put "/sarcasm" at the end of post #3. Sorry about the confusion.

     

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  32.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: listen here

    Eh, running slow on a virtual desktop. Typing actually lags, but yeah, the typos were pretty bad...

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Shill, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    THEM STEALERS ARE DESTROYING RADIOHEAD!!!

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    sorry, I post almost exclusively under anonymous, but I am not a shill, I don't always agree with Mike, but I do post well reasoned responses that are far away from Shill territory, I would not appreciate being forced to register or be labled always as a shill. if anything must be done, I would prefer IP addresses, they won't point to an individual, but if a bunch of mike-bashing comments come from one IP we can easily assume industry shill or troll.

     

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  35.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Wouldn't it be ironic...

    ...if bands/movie makers/authors sued Big Media in response to TPB being taken down; for an unspecified (large!) amount of damages--namely for destroying their finest free distribution channel!

     

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  36.  
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    Simon, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    But they can't think of new business models, all they are capable of is trying to extend the business model of the forbearer's through any means possible.

    It's like spoiled rich kids inheriting their grandfathers business and running it into the ground.

     

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  37.  
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    Jose Jose, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 1:21pm

    really?

    I feel like it is a little unprofessional to call out your readers in your own blog.

     

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  38.  
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    mrtraver (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Ooh, ooh, me! Me! I know!

    damn PIRATES!

     

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  39.  
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    zenasprime, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Record Label Role?

    For all the Industry defenders out there who say that success is not possible without the support of a huge multinational corporation, I have a few questions:

    What is the role of these huge multinational corporation labels and what services do they provide to the artists that promote success?

    Are their recording facilities superior then that which can be obtained without them? More importantly, are superior recording facilities relevant to the production of music and it's acceptance as an appreciable art form to either the general or specific public markets for such art?

    Is their distribution method, primarily the compact disc, a superior product to other alternatives currently available? More importantly, is access to their production resources and/or 3rd party outsourcing superior to that which can be obtain without them?

    What promotional advantage is only available through large multinational record label corporations is there over alternative avenues of promotion? More importantly is it advantageous to the artist to relinquish their intellectual properties rights as well significant amounts of artistic integrity in order to obtain those advantages towards becoming successful as determined by the generally accepted definition of artistic succes.

    Finally, what exactly does it mean to be artistically successful? Is it financial success (i.e. net profit)? Is it popularity? Radical cultural change or enrichment? Political and social change? Making people want to dance? Goosebumps?

    Loaded but honest questions for the astroturfers out there.

     

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  40.  
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    hmm, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    here's an idea...allow anonymous comments but PIN number them...so we can see if each anonymous person is the same anonymous or a different one......
    fairly easy to link a pin number to an IP address.....then of course that IP could be used to show how RIAA members are "wasting time with filthy pirate supporting websites" instead of finding those artists for who they are holding hundreds of millions of dollars but they just can't find.....

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    Those as Masnick's standard dismissals, the talking points to put down anyone pointing out the remarkably obvious:

    CwF: You can't connect without fans, otherwise you are connecting with yourself.

    RtB: Your music should be enough reason to buy. If it isn't, then you need to go back and make better music.

    Radiohead already has millions of minor and some major fans, and they could put out the sounds of a computer voice reading a poem and people would love it (fitter, happier, more productive). So pointing to things like this as some sort of revolution is fairly insulting to whatever revolution is supposedly going on, because they are just using their position built by the record labels, managers, and promoters to suddenly act like they never needed anyone.

    Listen to the song without considering it a Radiohead song, and honestly, is it really any good?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re:

    It's funny, the post even mentions Masnick's Law, and you still invoke it.

    Mike has stated examples over and over again, using up and coming artists and already successful artists.

    And each time you have someone saying "Oh, only successful artists can do this!" or "Only artists with nothing to lose can do this!".

    So, since this business model has been proven to work with people who never had major promotional backing, where does that leave your arguments?

     

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  43.  
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    CrushU (Not Anonymous! Possibly Cowardly), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re:

    I can understand the desire for anonymity, but honestly no one particularly cares, and here it helps differentiate your comments from others'. No requirement to register, just Fill in The Name Box! That's all! That's one of the brilliant things about TechDirt and why I comment at all, registering is a hassle. :)

     

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  44.  
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    just Fill in The Name Box!, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Quite simply, it is impossible to separate the success of Radiohead as a label artist from Radiohead as the grand gods of giving it away. Without the labels, who would know about Radiohead? Would they even exist at this point? Would Thom Yorke just be a third string professor at Cambridge?

    When you claim something "works", you need to look at it and see WHY. Usually, the simpliest explaination is what makes the most sense. Radiohead did well with their "name your price" thing because (a) they were well known internationally with a large existing fan base, and (b) they could afford to make absolutely nothing off the recording.

    So you go down through the lists of Masnick poster children. Jill Sobule, Corey Smith, Trent Reznor, Facepalm Palmer... each and every one of them has benefited greatly from a record label deal, which is what allowed them to reach out and have a fan base wide enough to support their current actions. Heck, even his latest example, The Flaming Lips, have been solidly on Warner for the last 10 years. How do you separate out X from Y to come to a conclusion of something "working"?

    More over, and this is something I think is truly important, Mike has yet to reveal the secret of how a band goes from being known at best regionally (or in a niche market) and getting wider acceptance. Do you honestly think the flaming lips would be playing the Albert Hall in the UK on the basis of some free songs on a myspace page?

    All the talk of "flash mobs" (facepalm appeared to have even faked that), name your price, and all that other stuff comes down to a pile of noise and very little to actually show for it. Can you imagine how much more expose Facepalm would have if she had allowed her record label (ready to spent money to promote her) had been allowed to edit her video slightly (to get better angles of Facepalm)?

    Oh yeah, she seems to have signed on with Live Nation now. So much for hating the music business. You have more success when you can actually get more than 1 gig a month.

     

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  45.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quite simply, it is impossible to separate the success of Radiohead as a label artist from Radiohead as the grand gods of giving it away. Without the labels, who would know about Radiohead?

    Um... who cares? I never said the labels went away. In fact I've said -- repeatedly, even directly to you in previous comments -- that the labels still have a role. I'm really not sure what you think you're proving here.

    So you go down through the lists of Masnick poster children. Jill Sobule, Corey Smith, Trent Reznor, Facepalm Palmer... each and every one of them has benefited greatly from a record label deal

    Well, Corey Smith didn't, but that's ok. I like how you skip over Jonathan Coulton, but ok... But again it's meaningless. I have nothing against labels. So I don't know what point you're proving. Besides most of them used a label back when that was their only choice.

    More over, and this is something I think is truly important, Mike has yet to reveal the secret of how a band goes from being known at best regionally (or in a niche market) and getting wider acceptance.

    Someone hasn't been paying attention again.

    All the talk of "flash mobs" (facepalm appeared to have even faked that),

    Heh. Dude, your claim about her "faking" that was debunked so badly that I can't believe you're still bringing it up.

    For anyone who actually think she faked it, please read the full thread where that was proved as totally made up by this particular commenter, who couldn't read some rather basic info. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090731/1920485735.shtml

    Oh yeah, she seems to have signed on with Live Nation now. So much for hating the music business. You have more success when you can actually get more than 1 gig a month.

    Actually, I'm a big fan of what Live Nation is doing. They've got some smart folks at the top there, who we've spent a lot of time talking to about business models. They have some legacy issues to deal with, but if they can get past that, Live Nation is one to watch -- and it's because they agree almost 100% with what we talk about here.

     

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  46.  
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    Gregory, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 1:59am

    Actually, yes...

    I can say you do not need a major record label to make you big.

    How did Mozart and Beethoven and Schubert and Paganini et al make it big without record labels? Or are you saying they are not big names or were not big names back in the day?

    Let's take it a step further. Improv Everywhere, a group out of NY that does some wacky stunts just to make everyone's lives a bit more surreal as far as I can tell, managed to pimp a band simply by playing a prank on them (a fairly beneficial prank, as it made that band more well known).

    As mentioned, a record label is nothing more than a marketing or advertising agency nowadays. Do you seriously buy music from a 'label'? Or from the artist? If from the artist, and you don't care which label he/she/they signed up with, then the label doesn't really have a brand presence or brand loyalty with you, does it? And if so, then what, really, is the label giving the artist? And WFT should *we* be paying for those so-called services to the artist?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Um... who cares? I never said the labels went away. In fact I've said -- repeatedly, even directly to you in previous comments -- that the labels still have a role. I'm really not sure what you think you're proving here."

    Yes, they have a role, one where they aren't making any money.

    "Well, Corey Smith didn't, but that's ok."

    You should go back and check that again. Corey Smith won a "battle of the bands" type deal, and one of the prizes was an album recorded and released through a record label. That release is what actually got him on the air on many of the college stations, where he is a fixture to this very day.

    "Someone hasn't been paying attention again."

    No, someone has been paying attention - which is why I can say you haven't shown how it happens. Usually when cornered, you say something about "who needs to be a big star anyway?"

    "Heh. Dude, your claim about her "faking" that was debunked so badly that I can't believe you're still bringing it up."

    Mike, seriously: There was no 20 minute miracle, the stage manager and crew were hired ahead, the "extras" were instructed days ahead on what to wear, etc. There was no "flashmob", it was well planned and well orchestrated, from location to time of day to the "crowd" itself. I just think you are embarrassed that Facepalm got one over on you bigtime.

    As for the thread, notice everthing I mentioned had nothing to do with 'dates on a video'? Sorry Mike, but there is way too much information that makes it clear that shooting a music video was planned for days ahead, not something that randomly happened.

    "I'm a big fan of what Live Nation is doing. They've got some smart folks at the top there, who we've spent a lot of time talking to about business models. They have some legacy issues to deal with, but if they can get past that, Live Nation is one to watch -- and it's because they agree almost 100% with what we talk about here."

    Actually, I would think you would hate Live Nation, because their intention is to end up scooping up all the loot, paying the artist a contract rate and then getting involved in all parts of the artist's income, including the "loooots of t-shirts" and everything else.

    Facepalm is also a good example of the difference between "label" and "no label". 2008, she toured in Europe and the UK, did about 30 dates, plus a bunch more in the US to support her "who killed Amanda Palmer" album. She was a busy girl getting tons of exposure. Then she went nuclear on her record label (because they wanted to edit her video to remove her less than, umm, appealing near nakedness), and she went from working regularly and on the fast track to the top to someone who played a few days in Australia and had to pass the hat to make ends meet.

    She spent almost all of 2009 playing for little groups, a few shows here and there, and her big income appeared to be her friday night flea market. Now she makes a deal with Live Nation, and suddenly she has 4 or 5 shows in the UK out of nowhere. Hmm. Who killed Amanda Palmer? It would appear she did it herself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Joe Dirt, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    2 points here

    1. Why is it when people bring up artists and their fan base being a result of an association with a major label, they fail to mention any of the large number of bands that successfully make a living touring and almost never producing an album unless it's self-produced or indie?

    While most of these bands may not be mainstream, they do what they love, have a huge following, and make a decent living. Bands that come to mind include The String Chees Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, etc. The list is long. Go to any music festival and a large portion of the bands will be in this group.

    Face it, in the music world news gets around, usually through word of mouth and sharing downloaded music which every one of these bands freely embrace. Hell, most of them even allow people to plug into their board at concerts, or setup their own recording equipment, with the full knowledge that these recordings will be shared! Try that with a major label.

    2. The fact of the matter is, early music had no form or predictable outcome. The same song would be entirely different when performed by another artist or the same artist at a different performance. It was a social event with the intention of communicating individual or community feelings in a non-verbal, powerful medium. We supported these early performers by providing shelter, sustenance and appreciation. Nothing more was necessary. Definately there was nothing illegal about ArtistX performing the same song as ArtistY.

    Once humans developed a way to note and reproduce a performance (sheet music), it became a commodity. Once a product is a commodity, it's salable.
    That's when the scavengers begin to appear. The idea that we should pay a middle-man, whose only (questionable) service is PR, to enjoy the fruit of a musician is laughable at best. News gets around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Joe, there are plenty of bands out there doing the festival circuit, playing night clubs, and do all sorts of other things that make them a decent living (or gives them a decent pass time, depending on their goals). There have pretty much always been musicians on the fringes doing their own things (such as the current crop of "jam" bands). There always seems a place and a market (however big or small) for this type of act.

    "early music had no form or predictable outcome"

    Define early. Early would be banging sticks on rocks and going "ooga-ooga" before clubbing cavegirl over the head and taking her back to the cave for a night of "fun".

    The reality is that in the last 50-60 years, song writers have learned that what the produce (new songs, new music) is every bit as valid a product as a painting, a book, or any other type of art. It is unique and valuable. It isn't the "middle men" doing this, it is the artist themselves realize the value of their work.

    As for those middle men, if their own job was "pr" then they wouldn't be in business. Perhaps you should learn what all these middle men do and think about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Michael Ho (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Re: new Cwf+RtB idea

    hehe. great idea! but we don't want to label all the ACs as shills... some of the ACs actually agree with Cwf+RtB. :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    Are people forgetting that Radiohead stated inrainbows.com was an experiment? They were curious to see how much people would be willing to pay for music.

    Is this another experiment? A "let's see what happens..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Aug 21st, 2009 @ 7:37am

    "Facepalm is also a good example of the difference between "label" and "no label". 2008, she toured in Europe and the UK, did about 30 dates, plus a bunch more in the US to support her "who killed Amanda Palmer" album. She was a busy girl getting tons of exposure. Then she went nuclear on her record label (because they wanted to edit her video to remove her less than, umm, appealing near nakedness), and she went from working regularly and on the fast track to the top to someone who played a few days in Australia and had to pass the hat to make ends meet.

    She spent almost all of 2009 playing for little groups, a few shows here and there, and her big income appeared to be her friday night flea market. Now she makes a deal with Live Nation, and suddenly she has 4 or 5 shows in the UK out of nowhere. Hmm. Who killed Amanda Palmer? It would appear she did it herself."


    You are increasingly giving me a really creepy feeling. You are truly obsessed with Mike and Amanda Palmer.

    The level of detail of your knowledge of the latter's career is quite bizarre given your stated dislike of her music.

    Your collected posts about both of them add up to more words than some novels. And the fake-friendly nastiness of your posts is pretty much the standard style for notes from stalkers and serial killers.

    Seriously, dude, you need to get out more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2009 @ 8:56am

    "How did Mozart and Beethoven and Schubert and Paganini et al make it big without record labels? Or are you saying they are not big names or were not big names back in the day?"

    This. Freaking THIS.

    When the labels go away, the system of discovering music will change, the same way it changed when they popped up in the first place.

    They need to wake up and smell their own irrelevance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Raven, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 1:51am

    Re:

    Oh, so THAT"S why RADIOHEAD THEMSELVES actually SAID it was them...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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