“Radiohead’s camp is in talks with [Apple’s] iTunes Music Store for the release of ‘In Rainbows,'” Lars Brandle reports for Billboard.
Radiohead “remains a notable omission from the world’s leading download store because of the band’s assertion that its albums remain complete,” Brandle reports. “On the other hand, iTunes’ successful model allows customers to unbundle albums, or pick and chose individual tracks.”
“Talks are ongoing with iTunes,” Brandle reports. “A deal with Apple Computer’s download store would represent a massive breakthrough on a number of levels, and one which apparently would require a shift in position from one of the parties.”
“Radiohead became one of the music industry’s hottest topics this year when they recorded the [In Rainbows] album independently and issued it digitally through its official Web site from Oct. 10, allowing downloaders to name a price to own a virtual copy,” Brandle reports.
“That “honesty box’ experiment will come to an end on Monday, the band has announced, paving the way for the traditional release set-up of the album within the next few weeks,” Brandle reports. “‘The download area that is ‘In Rainbows’ will be shutting its doors on the 10th December 2007,’ reads a note posted Wednesday on the band’s official Web site.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lurker_PC” for the heads up.]
Perhaps Radiohead realized that the album is an artificial construct designed by the music cartels to create bundles laced with filler for which they can overcharge fans? Or perhaps they decided that they just wanted to get paid? By the way, if the “album” is good enough and coherent enough — ironically, as are most of Radiohead’s — we’ll buy the album. What we are opposed to are those who would dictate that we buy the album. That time has long since passed. Consumers are in charge now, not the music cartels.
If an artist really intends for their work to be heard and purchased in full, then eliminate separate tracks. Just release a one long US$9.99 track (It’s been done already: Prince’s “Lovesexy” is 9 “songs” all in one 45:03 track for $9.99 via iTunes Store) and then sell, perform, and demand that radio play it that way. Otherwise, by allowing yourselves to chop up the oh-so-sacred album in concert, DJ’s to chop it up on radio, and the music video outlets to chop it up on air/online, we know you’re just not that serious about your concept of “album as art.” You really just want us to pay you more to get the bits we really want.
We really don’t see Apple bending to Radiohead’s demand that they sell only the complete album, since Apple’s iTunes Store has survived just fine without them for years now. That said, if the two parties do reach a deal, we may see the bad old “Album Only” rear its ugly head on certain Radiohead tracks within iTunes Store. It would be unfortunate, but not at all unexpected.