Wednesday, October 3, 2007

OK, Computer

"Radiohead have made a record. So far, it is only available from this web site. You can pre-order it in these formats: Discbox and download."

With a plummy Oxbridge accent, a curiously garish homebrew website and a Thomas Pynchon reference included at no extra charge, Radiohead is doing its part to rock the digital content world. For a price of "It's up to you ... No really, it's up to you." you can have their latest, In Rainbows, straight from the band.

Or you can wait for your friends to get it and copy theirs. No really, it's up to you.

This isn't the first time a prominent act has bypassed the major labels (the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince comes to mind), but this one seems to be getting a fair bit of buzz. For example, Auntie says here that their server crashed from overwork.

It also says that most people are choosing to pay a reasonably normal price. I'm not surprised.

The general take I've seen on all this is that bands make most of their money from concert tickets and T-shirt sales anyway, so what's the big deal. Somewhere in the mix I hear record labels whistling in the dark, though interestingly Radiohead are currently said to be negotiating with their former label, Parlophone, and others for a new contract.

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