So, possibly the biggest announcement in music in decades….
On Monday, the British band, Radiohead, announced that since they have broken away from their label — EMI — they are offering their new CD for download and get this….YOU DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO PAY.
Of course, you can elect to pay only 1p (one penny sterling), but there is a 45p credit card processing charge. Therefore, the tracks are, in effect 45p which is still half the price of iTunes. The band is likely going to make as much, or more, than they made with the label. I’m hoping that someone is going to report on what the average price paid really is. I’m going to bet that it ends up being close to, or in excess of, the iTunes track price of 99 cents. It’s reciprocity. Radiohead is offering something revolutionary and the music public will pay them back by BUYING their music (for a reasonable price). In fact, I’m guessing that they will sell a lot more music than they’ve ever sold…and to folks who’ve never purchased their music.
The announcement, this morning, produced overwhelming volume that temporarily halted their site. The telltale quote from the article:
James Bates, media and entertainment director at Deloitte, said: “Radiohead are clearly trying to build an independent business model that suits their needs. Unless record company giants wake up and find a model that delivers real value to artists, technology will continue to be used to bypass the record companies, and in comparison piracy will seem a relatively small problem.”
Ko-RECK. While this has been done by more obscure “indie” artists, never has a band as popular as Radiohead defied the music bosses to this magnitude. This will be interesting to watch. How will “the biz” try to retaliate? What will they do to try to stem the tide of change?
Of course, you die hards who still require the physical CD can shell out the 45 pounds for the box set with fancy books and liner notes. They will, no doubt, sell plenty of these — from their own website, as well — to their core fan base while the everyday fan and casual listener will gladly pay the 45p per track. Affordable music for the masses…those who might never have given Radiohead a listen. New fans. More dollars per track and CD sold. Sounds like a win/win, to me.
A new paradigm in music sales on the horizon? Most definitely.
Here is the beautiful link to Radiohead’s In Rainbows.