Radiohead: Pay Us For A Chance To Make Our Songs Better

from the not-that-appealing dept

It's been clear for quite some time that Radiohead more or less stumbled into its position as "embracing" new music distribution models. The band has admitted that the idea of doing a name your own price download offering was suggested by the band's manager just before they put the album online. They didn't really think it through, they just did it. And, since then, it's been clear that the band doesn't quite grasp the wider economics of what it's doing. It never made sense for the band to get rid of the download offering, but it did. And now, the band is getting some publicity for asking its fans to remix a new single from the band, apparently a song the band has struggled to complete for quite a while. However, the details are anything but fan friendly. Fans are asked to buy the five separate tracks (bass, voice, guitar, strings/effects and drums) and only once all five have been bought are they given access to a program to mix the tracks. And, as a bunch of readers have sent in, the terms are not particularly friendly -- basically saying that the fans have no rights whatsoever, Radiohead gets everything and no one should expect any prizes for participating. In other words, this is Radiohead getting fans to pay the band to do its work.
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Filed Under: contest, radiohead, remix


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  1. icon
    Nick (profile), 2 Apr 2008 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re:

    The Radiohead offer was "insincere" according to Reznor because they cosed the online store, and then later came back and said "this is just an experiment, the real release will be physical media and include more songs." Radiohead got a little spooked that no one would pay them anymore, and then they retreated a little.

    Sure, Radiohead is allowed to do what they want. But if goal really was to find the best remix, they would at least let the remixer kick ass in their own right: get the source tracks for free, grant attribution to the remixer.

    Hence the requirement to have potential remixers pay for the separated tracks shows that getting the best mix possible is a secondary goal, and guaranteeing there is some sort of financial payoff from the experiment is more important. But there is no reward without risk. Radiohead is playing it safe, so they get crap from zealots like me.

    Reznor is held in high regard for taking a perceived risk and getting a great payoff.

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