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. identicon
    N1ck0, 2 Apr 2008 @ 12:39pm


    Its interesting though how the free offering is 'insincere'. I agree it was done to get more hype to the band. But isn't that what 'freeconomice' is all about?

    When you offer something for free the hope is for some form of Ancillary benefit. For Google its advertising and data/statistic generation (they make models to make ads more effective or sell tech services to other industries). With Adobe acrobat its to increase their market share (the more people who know about you the more people might buy something from you). And with Open source its pride, commercial gain, education, experience, and/or recognition (yes not as simple a gain as money, but its still not free of all return).

    I'm not really trying to undermine your intentions of calling their action insincere. I too felt it was kind of 'cheap' after this news. But really the analytical part of me says, isn't that the point? Isn't the insincerity really our invention for trying to justify the fact that radiohead is really selling us a service/product and wants to be popular (for gains both monetary and via ego).

    IMHO 'freeconomics' is all about the age of choice. Since the cost of offering choice is so small, one can capitalize by offering more choices. e.g. Free TV with adds, or pay TV thats uninterrupted...or even better a choice of the amount of ad intrusion, quality, and speed based on how much you pay (or do not pay). Because time and experience also have value, and some are willing to pay money for it, where as others are not (at least monetarily). But I digress...

    Is it really Radiohead that is insincere, or is it the consumer?

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