Surprises

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
business models, music

Companies:
radiohead



Radiohead Tells Fans To Name Their Own Price For Latest Album Downloads; Gives Them A Reason To Pay

from the new-business-models dept

The band Radiohead is apparently coming out with a new album; the first after its original record deal was completed. It appears that, like many other musicians, they're realizing that the traditional recording industry business model doesn't quite make sense for them. While there was some buzz about an apparent hoax website about the band's new album, it turns out the real thing is a bit more interesting. That's because Radiohead is doing two smart things. It's telling fans they can name their own price for digital downloads. You just pay the band however much you think the downloads are worth and they'll be happy. But that's not all (though, that's what most folks are focused on). Rather than just offering up the content, they're also trying to give people a reason to actually buy something else. In this case, it's a "discbox," which will include the new album on both CD and vinyl, as well as an additional CD of seven extra songs and photos, artwork and lyrics. The whole thing will be packaged in a nice container. In other words, the band is following in the footsteps of folks like Trent Reznor, in realizing that the music is promotional for other stuff -- and you can still sell stuff if you make it worthwhile. In this case, Radiohead isn't really selling the "music." After all, you can get that for free. They're selling the full collection of stuff that comes with the music. Funny how it's the musicians, and not the record labels, who seem to realize that adding value and getting people to pay for it is a business model that beats suing fans.

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  1. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 1 Oct 2007 @ 7:13am

    Re:@ #7

    I was wondering how this was all going to pan out. I knew Radiohead had fulfilled their contract and was glad to see them tell the label to f___ off. I bought a couple of single discs from their last album that had some DRM issues and really hoped it wouldn't continue. The problem, Burzum, is that your idea, although interesting, would work if they actually owned their old music. So unless the artists was label-free (or had a flexible label) it would never be realized. No label would ever allow that to happen unless they tacked on a huge $. We will see if the new album gets any radio play, not that Radiohead has been very mainstream here in the US lately.

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