Radiohead’s Thom York: Music industry on verge of collapse

iPod Superstore“Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is warning the music industry is on the brink of collapse, insisting young musicians should resist signing record deals because the major labels will ‘completely fold’ within months,” World Entertainment News Network reports.

“In an interview for a new high school textbook called The Rax Active Citizen Toolkit… Yorke claims the music industry is on the verge of a major crisis and could collapse completely within ‘months,'” WENN reports.

WENN reports, “He says, ‘It will be only a matter of time – months rather than years – before the music business establishment completely folds. (It will be) no great loss to the world.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If so, the greedy music cartels brought it upon themselves.


  1. The music industry started with bands of minstrels entertaining for their supper. Now it will return to its roots.

    Maybe they will remember they are in the ENTERTAINMENT industry, not the glamour industry, and produce more and better songs and keep most of the profits…

  2. So, you can record music and distribute it with Apple and a Mac cutting out the middle man. I hear Apple has a way for inspiring writers to sell their book on line now.

    What market does Apple want next!

  3. Radiohead’s view on this issue may well be skewed by their past dealings with EMI, which is pretty much on its death bed. Younger artists fled the label when a bunch of venture capitalists took it over. Since then they are mostly trading on their back catalogue and putting minimal resources into A&R;. As a result their share of global record sales has tanked.

    Other majors, for instance Sony, are doing much better.

  4. There isn’t much more in the full article. I went over to check and make sure it is clear what he meant. It seems that his comments refer to the music industry in its present form of major labels that control marketing distribution and all other aspects. In that case, he is exactly right — there is no loss to anyone but MiddleBronfmans of this world.

    There are a few independent labels that are actually good for the artist. But in general, for labels, this is a no-risk business. When they sign a new artist, they NEVER pay them until they recoup ALL the money they invested: recording studio/production costs/printing costs/advertising costs… Everything. Only after that will the artist begin to receive monies, and even then, it will only be share of the profits (not gross revenue; labels again take off the top to cover their expenses). Unless you are a mega artist (Lady Gaga, Shanaia Twain, etc), you are slave labour for the label.

    Let us all hope that this fellow York is correct and that major labels truly collapse in the near future. Somehow, I believe artists will continue to exist, they will continue to entertain us, we will continue to pay for their work, and the only losers will be bean counters in suits that know nothing about our desire for entertainment, nor artists’ desire to entertain us, but only see and understand dollar signs.

    Perhaps they could all get jobs as Wall Street analysts; apparently, you don’t need much brain to do that…

  5. Like M$, there is probably enough momentum to carry on the music business for years. But watch for Ticket Master to completely take over concert music.

  6. It might be a good chance for Apple to purchase a large music portfolio to anchor iTunes. Then, going forward, iTunes can continue to promote music distribution from individuals and indies. I believe the the music industry will actually benefit as a whole from the renewed creativity and vitality.

  7. The only reason it hasn’t yet is because of the amount of money they can’t dangle in front of folks who are young and eager for cash. I hope he’s right. But you can guarantee they’ll hold on to those old catalogs to squeeze the last dime out of them.

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