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
    Edd Chittenden, 3 Oct 2007 @ 9:46pm

    Kurt Cobain said they were dinosaurs 15 years ago.

    We've known this was coming. With the internet and the fact that a large portion of the population is becoming more and more familiar and alert to new sharing/socializing/promoting networks it's only a matter of time before we're able to do without the big labels. Cheers to Radiohead and others trying this new model out. It's a shame but it's true, it's too easy to get music for free. Many do want the whole package though. Pay what you want, pay a certain price and get added bonuses...a t-shirt, discount on concert tickets to see the band, etc...a compilation cd of their 'apprenticed' bands. A new compilation download set every few months,or month or week, who knows!?. With A-list acts, everybody will want to know the new bands that are associated with them. Just the exposure alone on A-list websites for these lesser-knowns could really get them off the ground. These 'A-listers' websites could become small networking centers in themselves much like their myspace pages are but could be much larger in scope. A-listers pay people to run it, 'apprentice' bands pay a modest fee to the bands to pay for the upkeep of this indie venture and we're already putting alot more in the lesserknowns pockets for music sales....old boss, new boss, could be, but lets look at it this way, at least it will be up to the band running the venture, in the hands of music loving artists in many cases, instead of money grubbing business executives, trained in squeezing every cent out of any business they're involed with. Big artists could look at it as a public service to host these lesser-known bands while still making more money than they would with the big labels. Imagine this kind of artist community support!
    ......ok, a bit rambling and utopian maybe, but the possibilities are endless here if the market is about being a good band that makes good music and therefore gets the spotlight for being an inspired new band instead of just being lucky and good enough(and lets face, alot of times pretty enough) to be picked up by a major label for fitting all of their cookie-cutter constraints.

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