I love Radiohead. Last.fm loves Radiohead. So everything is good right? Well, maybe not: Just because Radiohead can let their fans pay whatever they want doesn't mean it'll work for everyone else.
Radiohead's recent album, "In Rainbows," has enjoyed the limelight the past few weeks, especially on social media sites. The success of the album has people talking about a possible new model for the music industry, and the amount of money some people have paid for the album has been sort of a, "Told you so," directed at the RIAA and Label execs.
Before we all hop on the band wagon, we should take a few things into consideration:
- Radiohead fans are notoriously loyal (madison square garden)
- They've already had several very successful albums
- They don't need the money
Do you really think this is a good model for new music? It seems to me, well established bands will be able to keep on making it, while it will just get harder for lesser known artists to compete; especially as the expectation shifts toward cheaper/free distribution of music. Steve O'Hear did a nice writeup on alternative business models suggesting that the music would be a loss leader designed to get fans out to shows.
- Try to give away your music in an environment of nearly infinate competition (which will cost money)
- Then try to get people to come to your shows (which will have to cost more to support the artists)
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