Submitted by Art Neill last modified Tue, 04/01/2008 - 12:26pm
Radiohead began offering their new album, In Rainbows, for download at the price of your choosing October 10. They're not the first band to do this, but they certainly are one of the most well known. In the past bands like Arctic Monkeys and others seeking an audience have released their music for noncommercial distribution and allowed free downloading. This can often be an excellent alternative business model for new and lesser known musicians, who can gain a significant following for their work without the "help" of a large record label.
One difference with the Radiohead release is that Radiohead is a very well established band taking the "name your price" route. Another thing to note is that this isn't some gimick by a large record company to sell a few more records. The band is no longer with ANY major record label, and has chosen this as their business model. The advantages of this method are clear. There is no toll between the musicians, their music, and the fans. The audience can download and experience the album and then decide its worth to them as individuals. Despite their success, it will be fascinating to watch this "experiment" succeed. After so many years of getting it wrong, its no surprise that its a band outside the recording industry accepting the reality of new media and people's desire to have affordable, non-DRM'd music. So go get the album, enjoy it, and let Radiohead know you appreciate their music, and their efforts to make music and artistry less of an "industry" buy dropping them a few bucks, or pounds, or quid, or whatever.
-the biggest Radiohead fan at New Media Rights