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.

Filed Under: business models, music
Companies: radiohead


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  1. identicon
    da9ve, 1 Oct 2007 @ 12:42pm

    What's missing?

    The story doesn't mention if there will be a standard, just-the-usual-single-CD issue of the new album available for roughly the normal price,.... I love Radiohead - and even still have and occasionally use a nice turntable - but I'm not sure I can bring myself to spend $80 for the big elaborate package with the redundant media, even if it's the only alternative to MP3s (which are just not acceptable to me). Are there going to be downloads in a lossless format (FLAC, ALAC, SHN)? I'd gladly pay somewhere between 0 and the normal CD price for those.

    BTW, the DGMLive model doesn't include a voluntarily set price. As much as I think Robert Fripp is an original thinker and one of fairly few established artists trying to work outside the industry box, and I love that he's selling live recordings sourced from bootleg and other unofficial recordings, he didn't arrive at anything as different as this.

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