We've been pointing out why record labels should
still have a place in the modern music landscape, if they're willing to change
their business models to meet with the new marketplace reality. However, if they keep doing stupid stuff, they're not going to get very far. Reader SteveD
writes in to point out that, McFly, a popular British pop boy band -- the type of band that you would think is one of the few that still fits into the sweet spot of the major label marketing machine -- has ditched their label and is considering "pulling a Radiohead"
in letting their fans set the price. I'd encourage them to pull a Reznor
instead, as the Nine Inch Nails experiments are much more well thought out in terms of the business model.
Either way, the key sentence in the article explaining why the band split from the label:
The band felt that their old label wasn't embracing those changes and are keen to experiment with new ways of getting music to fans. Tom said: "There's not a set way of doing things anymore. Now, especially with stuff like downloads, or giving music away, there's so many options for what you can do."
If that's not an indication of a record label shooting itself in the foot, it's hard to see what is. This is the type of band that could use a big label's help in distributing the music in the most effective manner, and the label is refusing to help. No wonder the record labels are struggling. In this case, by the way, the label was Island, a subsidiary of Universal Music, which has been one of the most proudly thick headed
labels in trying to understand the new digital landscape.