Okay, so I was looking at my Last.FM page today for the first time in a loooonnngggg time, and came across the post I did in October of 2007.
It’s an old-post, but I find it most amusing because, well, I still feel the same way more than a year later!
Radiohead took a ‘new’ approach to releasing their latest piece of work, “In Rainbows“.
They’re letting listeners name their own price! You can buy the entire record for a penny if you’d like.
And, get this, they (Radiohead) are succeeding. “In Rainbows” has sold more than 1.2 million units in the first couple days. Kanye West, the biggest selling first-week of 2007, only sold 950k. So it must be obvious to everybody else that this is the way to release ALL music… right?
**waits for the cheering to die down**
This is a novelty! This is not a sustainable business model for the music industry. Maybe it’s me being stubborn, but this isn’t something that can work for every artist, is it? Eventually, won’t everybody be only paying a penny to listen to entire albums?
Radiohead is bound to have financial success because they have a devoted fan-base. They, with the help of their major-label’s resources (past or present), have gotten to the point where they can do something like this.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s GREAT (for now)…
But all the folks that now believe this is how all music should be released, are fooling themselves.
The beauty of the internet is that everybody becomes accessible. There are now more choices for us as fans and consumers.
There aren’t less people listening to music, just less people paying for it in the (current) dominant format. The issue the music industry is having is not that people are no longer buying CDs, but that everybody believes music should be free, like water… and it shouldn’t be.
This isn’t to knock Radiohead for their forward-thinking concept; but they’re not necessarily saving the music industry for future artists. They’re capitalizing on the novelty of a great idea.
But that’s just my opinion…