Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Rainbows

Any Radiohead fans out there?

As one might know, I am a huge Rolling Stone fan, constantly reading the magazine whenever I get the chance, but I came across this information that really intrigued me. Maybe I'm behind the times too, since this actually happened a few months back, but I still feel that I need to put it here.

In October, Radiohead released an album off their website where fans would pay any amount they wanted for the album. It's called In Rainbows, and it's making such big news because it is showing how musicians can stand solo without record companies backing them. They might not have made all of the money that they could have off of that record, but maybe that was not their aim for making the music...

Rolling Stone quotes Dixie Chicks band member Natalie Maines as saying that they are guaranteed to make more money off of their album this way, however, than if they were signed with a major label. This must be sending massive signals to other artists out there, some who may be struggling since the music industry is facing major droughts because of illegal downloading. Such artists as Nine Inch Nails, Madonna, and Pearl Jam have voiced that they might follow Radiohead's lead, according to Rolling Stone.

They are also quoted saying that they decided to allow fans to choose their own prices for the album because they wanted to see how much value they hold to their music. What is the value of music?

Do you think this is just a one-time thing, or can you see this happening with more successful bands?

Obviously, smaller bands could not make such profit off of such a plan, but this really shows how some artists can go right to the fans, cutting out the middle-man. Even with websites and blogging, artists are coming closer to the fans which is a definite plus for us on the fan side.

A lot of bands sign with companies that give 360-deals, meaning that artists share revenue from multiple sources. Smaller bands normally get 15% of a wholsale CD, or $1.50 per record. When publishing songs, bands get about 9 cents for writing one song, but they get more money if it appears on TV or a movie. The label gets 10% of touring and merchandise. This is all according to a Rolling Stone bit on 360-deals, as the recording industry struggles to battle new problems.

So, what do you think about Radiohead's selling on a website? How much would you opt to pay for a CD? What effect do you think this will have? Any?

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