Cure Singer Blasts Radiohead, Saying Name-Your-Own-Price Can't Work; Apparently Unaware That It Did Work
from the it's-not-like-the-info-isn't-out-there... dept
While we’re not huge fans of the pure “give it away and pray” name-your-own-price business model, it still seems pretty ridiculous to see people like The Cure’s Robert Smith blasting Radiohead for its experiment, claiming “it can’t work” (thanks to Chris, for sending this in). Smith is uninformed on a number of different fronts. First, so many people get so focused on the “name your own price” part, that they forget that wasn’t the only business model at all. That was just a part of the business model. At the same time they announced the pay-what-you-want downloads, they also announced an impressive boxset that cost quite a bit. Furthermore, contrary to Smith’s assertion that “it can’t work,” it did work. In fact, it worked phenomenally well. The band sold more albums than it had in the past and it made more money. Actually, as the article points out, that Radiohead album did much, much better than the Cure’s last album. Oops.
All of that info came out months ago. Apparently, Smith was too bothered “violently disagreeing” with Radiohead to notice how much money the band was pulling in. He also might want to brush up on his economics. His explanation for disagreeing with Radiohead confuses price and value drastically:
“You can’t allow other people to put a price on what you do, otherwise you don’t consider what you do to have any value at all and that’s nonsense. If I put a value on my music and no one’s prepared to pay that, then more fool me, but the idea that the value is created by the consumer is an idiot plan….”
Which, of course, has it backwards. If the music had no value, no one would want it, free or not. And, it’s not that fans are “creating the value” in setting the price, it’s that they’re deciding how much they want to reward the artist. That’s all. Perhaps instead of spending so much effort violently disagreeing, Smith should spend some time understanding the actual business models being put to good use by many different musicians, sometimes allowing them to do much better than the Cure… even if the music is “free.”