On Why I Bought In Rainbows
The intertubes are abuzz this week about the decline of the major record companies in today’s market (I spoke briefly on the topic here). One of the most striking examples of this decline is the recent announcements of major acts moving to independent methods to distribute their music and, eventually, make a profit.
As a musician, I am all for this model! It only takes a brief Google search to realize that the large record conglomerates have been preying on the artistic talent for decades. Now that the figurative chains are being broken and the Internet is leveling the distribution playing-field, I predict more and more artists that have existing contracts with the “big-four” labels will either break those agreements or neglect to resign when their contractual obligations are complete.
That brings me to the new album by Radiohead called In Rainbows. Released on October 10, this album represents a huge social experiment that, I believe, is a great and important test of this new label-less marketing model. If you haven’t heard, Radiohead is offering their album online at their website (www.radiohead.com) for whatever you, as the consumer, deem appropriate. If you want to pay nothing, you can. If you want to pay $100, you can.
I’ve never been a fan of Radiohead’s music (they are an amazing band; just not my scene), but I went ahead and purchased the new album (which is quite good, I might add) as more a show of support of this new avenue of marketing. I paid $10 for it, which, I believe, is a fair price for an album these days (as a side note, I think the “sweet spot” for album purchases is between $6 – $10).
Regardless of your opinion of Radiohead as a band, you have to respect the fact that they are blazing a trail for the rest of us. More power to them!