Radiohead Says Name Your Download Price
The real disruption in the music industry will be when more big name acts follow Radiohead’s route, by dropping the middleman and taking their songs to the fans.
The Wall Street Journal said fans will be able to set their price for a digital download of ‘In Rainbows’. Radiohead has resisted the iTunes model of selling singles for creative reasons.
Ultimately it is an issue of trust Radiohead has made with their digital decision. Thom Yorke and company are banking (no pun intended) on their fans paying a fair price for a digital download. Radiohead are no longer under contract to a label, enabling them to experiment this way.
They could profit nicely from the arrangement, should their fans play fair. Conventional recording contracts pay artists so little after the usual expenses associated with a record deal that only the most massively selling artists can make a profit on music sales.
Bands have long made money by touring and merchandising to offset this. If Radiohead’s fans come through for the band with this digital distribution model, they could help inspire other major acts to give it a try.