HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Charles Evans, 2 Oct 2007 @ 6:23am

    new paradigms

    I have been arguing for a decade that this sort of thing would happen. Our expectations in the early days of the Internet were a bit enthusiastic and overly optimistic, but things finally are coming around as I describe in my paper on the economics of information goods, "Pseudo-Intellectual Property."

    Fret not, weary artist! A-list acts will begin to sponsor up-and-comers in a kind of apprenticeship system. We will start seeing people like Trent Reznor developing stables of bands that they promote, train, and support.

    If Trent Reznor becomes known for having awsome opening acts, demand for tickets to his shows will increase. He has an incentive to collect inexpensive and talented unknowns around him, and should be willing to expend some effort, time, and money, in order to discover them and nurture them.

    Elton John's recent prattling notwithstanding, the Internet is driving this democratic shift away from corporatist elitism. The big labels have squandered their capital over the past decade.

    Popular culture is stagnant. Independent film makers, musicians, and other artists are the future of entertainment, and I applaud Radiohead's decison. Bravo, lads!

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.