Yep, I’ll admit I’m a bit late on this one. But that’s only because I thought everything that could possibly be said about this latest (marketing?) stunt had already be said. It appears I was wrong.
In his “What is Radiohead’s album worth?” article for the BBC, Ian Youngs makes some interesting points arguing against Radiohead’s latest stunt (and completely trips over his own logic during his album review):
I may have been a bit foolish thinking that [£9.82] was a fair price in the first place because Radiohead, of course, don’t have all the record company people to pay, nor do they have to press up and send out any CDs.
They don’t have a record company at all after their deal with EMI ran out – so will take much more of my money than they would have done under a traditional deal.
The record company signed the band in the first place, developed them and brought them to our attention.
So maybe I should have paid £4.91 to Radiohead and sent a cheque for the other half to EMI for its part in Radiohead’s career, and to pay for finding the next Radiohead.
It’s an interesting point, but not one I’m particularly falling for. With the big labels not really finding great talent anymore and instead manufacturing an array of bands or run-of-the-mill acoustic-singer-songwriters straight from a modeling agency’s brochure, I’m more inclined to buy the album and then send EMI a rather sternly worded letter. However, I digress.
With this move it’s the acceleration of the inevitable demise of small record shops that I’m worried about – maybe I should send £0.50 to each of my local record shops that won’t be stocking the latest Radiohead album? (I feel relatively strongly about this as I live in the city containing the world’s oldest record shop.)
However, we can’t hold back technological advancement and especially the evolution of music and its distribution and so, in conclusion, I would like to state for all present that I’m all for this method of music dissemination. Bravo Radiohead!
“What about the independent labels?” I hear you scream. Let’s not go there… that’s a whole ‘nother blog post!