Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows, will bow Oct. 10 as an independent release – no music cartel involved – and customers get to choose their own price!
“Radiohead is on a sustained run as the most interesting and innovative band in rock, but what makes In Rainbows important — easily the most important release in the recent history of the music business — are its record label and its retail price: there is none, and there is none,” Josh Tyrangiel reports for TIME Magazine.
MacDailyNews Note: You can pay as little £.01 (US$.02) plus £0.45 to cover the credit card handling fee. The album is also available separately as part of a £40 box-set which includes the album on two vinyl records, on CD, another CD with additional songs, lyrics, photos, and artwork.
“In Rainbows will be released as a digital download available only via the band’s web site, Radiohead.com. There’s no label or distribution partner to cut into the band’s profits — but then there may not be any profits. Drop In Rainbows‘ 15 songs into the on-line checkout basket and a question mark pops up where the price would normally be. Click it, and the prompt “It’s Up To You” appears. Click again and it refreshes with the words “It’s Really Up To You” — and really, it is. It’s the first major album whose price is determined by what individual consumers want to pay for it. And it’s perfectly acceptable to pay nothing at all,” Tyrangiel reports.
“Radiohead’s contract with EMI/Capitol expired after its last record, Hail to the Thief, was released in 2003; shortly before the band started writing new songs, singer Thom Yorke told TIME, ‘I like the people at our record company, but the time is at hand when you have to ask why anyone needs one. And, yes, it probably would give us some perverse pleasure to say ‘F___ you’ to this decaying business model,'” Tyrangiel reports.
“While many industry observers speculated that Radiohead might go off-label for its seventh album, it was presumed the band would at least rely on Apple’s iTunes or United Kingdom-based online music store 7digital for distribution. Few suspected the band members had the ambition (or the server capacity) to put an album out on their own. The final decision was apparently made just a few weeks ago, and, when informed of the news on Sunday, several record executives admitted that, despite the rumors, they were stunned. ‘This feels like yet another death knell,’ emailed an A&R executive at a major European label. ‘If the best band in the world doesn’t want a part of us, I’m not sure what’s left for this business,'” Tyrangiel reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: They may not have the server capacity, as the site is extremely slow and/or downright unresponsive. We’ll add news of the format(s) offered and whether DRM is involved when we can get through to find out.
Radiohead’s In Rainbows Website is here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wealthy Industrialite” for the heads up.]
[Note: MacDailyNews coined the term “Middlebronfman,” a combination of “middleman” and “Bronfman” [Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr.], in an article on Monday, October 03, 2005 with the sentence, “Eliminate the middlebronfman.”]