Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media The Internet

Radiohead Says Name Your Own Price for New Album 498

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the funny-that-the-artists-are-pushing-for-lower-prices dept.
TechDirt is reporting that the band Radiohead has apparently chosen the path less traveled when it comes to the release of their new album. They are offering two very unique methods of purchase for their new music, the ability to name your own price for a digital download or the ability to purchase a special "discbox" which will contain the album on CD and vinyl in addition to a horde of goodies. Will be interesting to see how this new model works out for them and what it might do to more traditional methods.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Radiohead Says Name Your Own Price for New Album

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:23PM (#20812537)
    But it is beautiful PR for Radiohead
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flitty (981864)
      Things that I would like to know about this, that TFA doesn't address directly: 1) How much of my money goes to Radiohead? I'd rather send them $20 by mail and say "for the albums i've downloaded" than give 90% of the money to the MAFIAA. If they get most of the money from this, i'll totally support it. 2) Bitrate/format of downloads? I'm not going to pay a lot for a 128 mp3. 3) Any future plans to release the Vinyl on it's own, with a card in it that gives you access to the MP3 downloads. That would
      • by Nasajin (967925) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:19PM (#20814489)
        Radiohead have finished their recording contract with their publisher (I forget who it is), and as such are basically responsible for their own publishing henceforth. As a band that's released 7 studio albums, is pretty big in a number of countries outside the US (UK, Australia, NZ, Japan), and remembered for more than just "Creep" in those countries, they're going to do quite well as individuals, capable of naming their own price. They've probably decided to outsource their publish, and distribute themselves in the UK and internationally, that way they can be outside conventional distribution control. While I'll admit that my guess is just that: a guess, Radiohead is a pretty socially conscious band, and probably like the idea of working with the RIAA as much as you or I do.
  • ... but this kind of make me wondering about buying it for two dollars or whatever just to get them some money and show them that it works =P
    • by SilentChris (452960) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:50PM (#20813053) Homepage
      Just out of curiosity, is there such a thing as track lighting for a cave?
      • by kalidasa (577403)
        Thank you for making sure that if I posted my immediate reaction to that post, it would be modded redundant. . .
    • by Hatta (162192)
      There's nothing stopping you from downloading it for nothing, deciding whether you like it and tossing them a couple bucks if you do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jawnn (445279)
      Two bucks, if delivered straight to their pockets, is more than they would make on the sale of a CD under the typical record company deal, even after subtracting the expense of producing and shipping the media. So...
      Cheap CD's for us. More money to the artists. What's not to like? I mean, unless you're the record company.
  • direct link? (Score:5, Informative)

    by darthpenguin (206566) * on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:24PM (#20812563) Homepage
    How about a direct link to the page where you can pre-order the album (in either form)? http://www.inrainbows.com/ [inrainbows.com]
    • Awful site (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sanity (1431)
      It took me about 4 tries before I could pre-purchase that album due to the extremely flaky website. Its a shame because its a great concept, but if it fails, it will probably be due to the awful execution. You would imagine that the creators of "Ok Computer" would know some decent web designers...
  • by revlayle (964221) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:26PM (#20812593) Homepage
    and even after hosting/bandwidth fees and site maintenance, they are probably still making more $$ per sale than they would have with a traditional record deal
    • by queenb**ch (446380) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:11PM (#20814367) Homepage Journal
      Considering that most bands are lucky to see two or three cents per CD sale, I'd say that won't be too hard. I'm going to explain the recording industry for you folks. Follow along and see if you kids can keep up. Let's pretend for a few minutes that you're a musician. You bust your butt gigging, playing all over town and one day some guy walks up to you and says, "Hi! I'm with (fill in name of record company here), and we'd really like to sign you to a recording contract." Well, you get all excited and you sign your deal with the devil.

      The devil says "Come to my recording studio and we'll cut the record." Once you get there, they've got the studio lined up, the producer, and a few other people to "help you" make your record. If you ask about how much is going to cost, you get told, as is standard in the recording industry that "it will come out of the profits." Then you cut your album and "you have to promote it". If you ask how much that's going to cost...you guessed it kids, "it comes out of the profits". Now that you have to market your album, you have to go on tour. That means a bus, lights, roadies, stage, sound equipment, etc. If you ask how much that's going to cost...you guessed it kids, "it comes out of the profits".

      While you're on tour, you need to have T-shirts, posters, bumper sticker, etc. You also need to have hot dogs, twinkies, beer, and cokes for people to consume during the concert. If you ask how much that's going to cost...you guessed it kids, "it comes out of the profits". By the time they're through pulling all the costs out of "the profits", there usually aren't any profits left, which means all that the artist gets is what ever they get as a signing bonus. Not the advance - the signing bonus - since the advance comes "out of the profits", too.

      The way that this works out is that if you're lucky, the artist on any given album might see 1 or 2 cents of the $16.99 you pay for CD of music at Wal-Mart. Given that the Internet is the ideal distribution medium for music, I'd rather just go to the artists web site and buy the songs directly from them. Then the artist would get the whole $16.99 for the album instead of $0.02. But you see, the RIAA can't allow that because in that $16.97 lies their profit margins. Without them, it's a brave new world for digital music.

      Why do you and I have to pay a third party middleman to broker the transaction for nothing more than a song? Worse yet, we are required to continue to pay this middleman who threatens to sue both the consumer and the musician when we try to cut him out of the transaction. If the artist tries to sell their songs on the website the RIAA will try to sue them for contract violations. If you and I try to download the music, we get sued. The only reason for this is that it leaves the big, fat RIAA profit margin intact.

      The RIAA complains that their sales are down and points an accusing finger at "piracy". I'd like to take a moment to dispel that myth. When Napster was operating at it's peak, music sales were up 20% without the RIAA doing any additional marketing. Viral, word-of-mouth would spread quickly about new bands and good new interesting music. People were buying CD's because they'd get a taste of some stuff and like it. Then they'd go to the store, find the artist and buy some stuff. Now, there's no place to share that isn't full of viruses, worms, trojans, fake files, etc. No more free marketing RIAA - you pretty much litigated the goose that laid the golden egg out of existence.

      Compounding the problem is that the RIAA is key in determining what gets pushed to the public. Frankly, I think that they've lost the pulse. We don't care about Brittany Spears, although my husband was caught peering at her photos when she got snapped sans the undies. For some reason, the music industry has decided to cater to 14 year old girls. Why? I don't really know. When's the last time you saw a 14 year old that had more than $20 of disposable income at any given moment? If you
  • by deadhammer (576762) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:26PM (#20812599)
    -$50,000.00. I'll take cash or check.
  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:29PM (#20812647)
    for illegally downloading their music, can we choose how much we can settle for too?
  • They'll make up for the free digital download (and then some) with the $80 price tag on the discbox. There are easily enough Radiohead fanatics out there to make some major cash on this thing.

    That being said, I wonder if this is some kind of strange social experiment to see if anyone actually puts more than $0 in the price box. I probably won't.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chyeld (713439)
      There are plenty of us out there that are willing to reward those who behave in a manner we consider "good" with money as incentive to continue along that path.

      That's why I don't own Microsoft stock but do own Google stock. The question will be, how many of those people are aware of this and how many are Radiohead fans? I'm a bit shamefaced to admit that while I've heard of them, I wouldn't be able to name a song by them without resorting to Google/Wikipedia. But then, I'm not that into the music world. I p
    • by kebes (861706) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:51PM (#20813065) Journal

      That being said, I wonder if this is some kind of strange social experiment to see if anyone actually puts more than $0 in the price box.
      It's an interesting social experiment, to be sure... but not the first. Jamendo [jamendo.com], offers Creative-Commons music for free download, and provides a link to "support the artist" if you want to. Evidently [jamendo.com], people are willing to donate money for free music.

      Magnatune [magnatune.com] also allows the buyer to set the price [magnatune.com] for an album purchase online: from $8 to $18. As far as I know, they've never released stats about how much people decide to pay.

      So, this new model is not entirely unique.

      I probably won't.
      That's your choice. Many other people (myself included) certainly will pay some amount for the album. I guess the idea is that although lots of people will download it for free, those people would probably have downloaded it for free (via P2P) anyways. At least in this case, you allow those people who value easy downloading to conveniently "do the right thing" and directly support the artist.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Stephen King did something similar with his online-only The Plant series. IIRC about 60% paid to download the first chapter, but by the time he released the fifth that dropped down quite a lot and almost everyone chose to get it for free. King then pulled the plug on the pay-if-you-like project saying something like "I could get much more money going through a traditional book publishing route, but I might change my mind in the future."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geminidomino (614729) *
        Maybe he got a little too prima donna about the whole thing, and that showed through in the work as it progressed?

        (Not a fan, so didn't participate in that little experiment of his, but the thought occurred to me since so many people started out paying.)
    • by neurojab (15737) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:58PM (#20813193)
      That being said, I wonder if this is some kind of strange social experiment to see if anyone actually puts more than $0 in the price box. I probably won't.

      Maybe if I was really hard up for cash, I'd consider putting in a lowball amount, but not $0. Putting in $0 would be worse, IMO than stiffing the waitstaff at a nice restaurant on their tip. You're not required to tip them, but you should. Why? They work hard, and make most of their money that way. Maybe it's just me, but I think that artists deserve to be paid for their efforts, even when they don't force the payment. They're asking to be paid a fair price, not to be stiffed. They've cut out the middlemen here, so perhaps that amount is less than you'd pay for a CD on Amazon. Perhaps it's more, for that very reason. They've let you decide.
      • Well, it's like tipping the waitstaff before you've been served.

        What remains to be seen is if they do a "normal" release later on. My little quandary is that I'm perfectly willing to pay them (even up to $20 if the music is good enough) for a physical CD, but I'm not really getting much value for a digital download. I hardly ever listen to the music I download, because I mostly listen to music in the car, and mp3s don't sound so great (to me anyways) with relatively decent speakers.
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:29PM (#20812661)
    It will be even more interesting to see the reaction of some of the big labels.
    • by sdo1 (213835) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:00PM (#20814209) Journal
      There's some comments in this Time Magazine article [time.com]. Some choice ones...

      "This feels like yet another death knell," emailed an A&R executive at a major European label. "If the best band in the world doesn't want a part of us, I'm not sure what's left for this business."

      "That's the interesting part of all this," says a producer who works primarily with American rap artists. "Radiohead is the best band in the world; if you can pay whatever you want for music by the best band in the world, why would you pay $13 dollars or $.99 cents for music by somebody less talented? Once you open that door and start giving music away legally, I'm not sure there's any going back."
      Translation: "If this works, it's time to panic."

      -S

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Abreu (173023)
        I would hardly call Radiohead the best band in the world, but I will certainly admit that they are way above average (when the average is the latest-britney-clone records and hip-hop records)
  • "Unique" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:29PM (#20812663)
    Something is either unique or it isn't.

    There's no "Somewhat unique", or "very unique".

    • Re:"Unique" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pokerdad (1124121) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:55PM (#20813135)

      Something is either unique or it isn't. There's no "Somewhat unique", or "very unique".

      My mother was an English teacher and she used to complain about people misusing the word unique in this way all the time. And while I certainly understand the point you and she are making, I have long wondered at what point does a commonly misused word simply become redefined?

      You can argue that "very unique" is non-sensical, but the truth is that everyone reading that phrase knows the intention of the author, and therefore information information is being conveyed.

    • Re:"Unique" (Score:5, Funny)

      by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:55PM (#20813137)
      You exhibit a rather unique sort of pedantry.
    • Seinfeld. Rava: "there are no big or small coincidences just coincidences"
    • I disagree with the basic premise of your statement.
      Every ladybug is unique, because every ladybug is different than every other ladybug. A ladybug that can shoot fire from its eyes is *more* unique than a ladybug that has a 0.00000000001% genetic difference from all other ladybugs.
      In other words: while 'unique' is a boolean, it can be modified in speech to indicate degree. If not, then your definition of 'unique' is kind of useless.
    • "Something is either unique or it isn't. There's no "Somewhat unique", or "very unique"."

      This is trivially disprovable. Any collection of objects can have a mixture of unique and shared elements. What do you call the result other than 'partially unique'? Take a Linux distribution, or human DNA, for instance. We have unique bits - a tiny fraction of the whole - and we have this vast sea of shared bits.

      It seems to me that it's perfectly sensible to say '25% of this collection is unique', and therefore to say
  • This is brilliant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TechForensics (944258) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:32PM (#20812693) Homepage Journal
    Radiohead wins, the fans win, the RIAA companies lose. Radiohead makes more for their music, fans pay less, and the greedy middlemen eventually begin considering honest jobs.

    Only immediate problem I see is that the record companies are going to be darned sure to sign new bands to perpetual contracts to prevent this kind of defection in the event of success. Maybe the new pathway will be for new bands to get exposure on iTunes or Amazon's new .mp3 download service. And just maybe, as the article suggests, big successful bands selling direct will feature or promote new, worthy acts.

    We can be glad the sun is setting on the **AAs.

    • by roman_mir (125474)
      and the greedy middlemen eventually begin considering honest jobs. - this is not going to happen. The greedy middlemen will spend all of their money fighting court battles against everyone who stands on their way. Will they win, will they lose, will anything really change at the end, we'll just have to wait and see.
      • by roman_mir (125474)
        Oh, and I doubt very much that even if the greedy middlemen lose all their money they'll consider 'honest jobs'. More like they'll continue trying to make lots of money in similar schemes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by qortra (591818)
      While I mostly agree with you, please don't forget independent music store owners. These people were [mostly] not greedy; they just made a living, and the internet age left them behind. They let us listen to music before we bought it, connected us to new music that we would otherwise have been unaware of, and they never tried to sue us. Generally, these people were being screwed by the RIAA's inflated prices just like everybody else. As physical media became less popular and the RIAA refused to lower p
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:33PM (#20812715) Journal
    Not because $0.00 is a valid price to download, but because they are actually doing something right, valuing a download vs. real physical product in this test. No matter what they do, people will be sharing their music for free, so they capitalize on that for the news bite, AND offer up more than a license to listen to 3+ minutes of music for sale. The way the human mind tends to work, they stand a good chance of making money on this.
  • by jgarra23 (1109651) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:35PM (#20812747)
    I think this will be very interesting *ONLY IF* Radiohead publishes the results of such a promotion.

    It will be interesting because they are (for whatever reason) a relevant and popular band with access to traditional B&M distribution. So we can see (very approximately and inaccurate duh)
    -what geographic locations paid the most average price
    -what geographic locations which paid nothing
    -what the average per-download price was
    -highest & lowest price

    and so on... esp. since it's not often that a band with as much exposure as Radiohead (don't even say Prince or I will slap you) experiments like this.
  • I like this idea, but I think it goes in a direction of a market that is already plummeting to zero code for recorded music (used primarily as a marketing resource to get fans to come to live shows or buy hard merchandise which isn't copied as easily or at a far greater cost).

    I love MeetUp.com because I think it is a great way to get to know others in your area who have similar tastes as you do. But MeetUp has a few shortcomings in terms of active financial participation of those who are part of the group,
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by GungaDan (195739)
      I heard Radiohead will play a free concert for you if you have cancer in your ass.

      Now where were those pubes...

  • love this idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:45PM (#20812941) Homepage
    I think this (along with, unfortunately, corporate sponsorship) is the future of original music sales. Several years ago, after downloading the fantastic "Source Tags and Codes" album from the Band "And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead", I tried to email the lads and offer them $5 directly for the music.

    I got a nice email from someone saying "thanks, but due to contract restrictions with the record label, they could not accept direct donations...please support us by purchasing our album from traditional sources" or something along those lines.

    There is something 10x more satisfying by trying to give my hard earned money directly to the artist, and not to the scum-sucking music executives who have, for years, been stealing millions from naive, unsuspecting bands.
  • They are offering two very unique methods of purchase for their new music, the ability to name your own price for a digital download or the ability to purchase a special "discbox" which will contain the album on CD and vinyl in addition to a horde of goodies.

    How is that first item--the ability to choose your own purchase price--in any way "unique", let alone the oxymoronic "very unique"? Magnatune [magnatune.com] has been doing it for years, and it's (one of) the reasons I love 'em. Aside from the ability to choose FLA

  • by penguin_dance (536599) on Monday October 01, 2007 @01:47PM (#20813007)

    "The traditional business model had been ruined by the Internet," said Grundy. "The industry is still trying to work out what on earth the new model or models should be and this is just one option."

    Sucks when you've become redundant, eh? Authors are self-publishing; musicians can sell their songs on-line. They've found that they're doing most of the promotional work anyway, so why are you getting such a big cut? They've peaked behind the curtain and found there is no wizard. You evolve or you get run over.

  • for 1 pound. Fair price for a digital album in my book.
    • by ericrost (1049312)
      Or at least I tried, their server is very nearly slashdotted, and didn't process the transaction.. I'll give it another try later.
  • That's very nice and I am sure it will net them more than they would if they released it the traditional way. But I'd like to see a completely independent band do the same. These guys are famous because their record companies have invested in them. Extremely few independent bands could support themselves on their music by letting their customers choose how much to pay for the music. They don't get enough attention and hype.

    My point is that this doesn't prove that record companies are not needed. It just pro
  • They are holding back disk 2 of the record for people willing to buy the ~80USD version. So it's not all happy happy fans we love you.

    CD 2
    MK 1
    DOWN IS THE NEW UP
    GO SLOWLY
    MK 2
    LAST FLOWERS
    UP ON THE LADDER
    BANGERS AND MASH
    4 MINUTE WARNING

    Also, the only reason radiohead are in a position to do this is the label they used to be on. And while I think this is the perfect direction for them, but I don't think it makes sense for labels to disappear. Good labels filter out the garbage to find and promote the good ba
  • Odd model (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iabervon (1971) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:16PM (#20813507) Homepage Journal
    The problem with this model is that people haven't heard the album, and therefore don't know how good it is, so they can't decide in an informed fashion how much they want to pay for it. Even under the assumption that people will be happiest if they pay what they feel something is worth, I expect that people's happiness falls off more quickly on the overpaying side than the underpaying side, and that people expect this is general, so people will underpay to maximize their expected happiness if they don't know what they will feel something is worth.
    • Re:Odd model (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cowscows (103644) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:10PM (#20814349) Journal
      I think most music consumers have an innate sense of what they consider to be a good, fair price for music. It gets adjusted a little bit for different circumstances (OMG RADIOHEAD IS MY FAVORITE BAND!, I think that digital albums should be cheaper because of the lack of physical media/shipping costs, I'm a dirt poor college student right now, etc...), but if you were to take a poll of random people on the street, I'm guessing a pretty clear baseline would start to emerge.

      People already pay ridiculously high prices for albums that they haven't heard all the way through. Often times they're buying it just for one or two songs that they've heard on the radio, and the rest of the disc is just gravy (or filler). The cost of CD's probably has a significant effect on the baseline perceived value of a digital album that I mentioned earlier, although I'd guess that most people would agree that a downloaded song should be cheaper than a disc.

      You're probably right in that people will tend to underpay initially out of fear of "getting ripped off", unless they're huge radiohead fans. But if you do that, and it turns out you really dig the album, and you wish you had paid more; I'm sure radiohead wouldn't mind if you paid for and downloaded the album again.
  • by AsnFkr (545033) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:17PM (#20813541) Homepage Journal
    Not that it's not admirable of Radiohead to do something like this, but they aren't the first musicians to work on an electronic donation based system. Here's another "record label" that is entirely donation based: http://www.quoteunquoterecords.com/ [quoteunquoterecords.com]
  • Will they be recruiting William Shatner [priceline.com] and Leonard Nimoy [imdb.com] to help promote it?
  • by soliptic (665417) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:24PM (#20813677) Journal

    My guess is that the slashdot "groupthink" will be positive, and likewise, I'm broadly positive about the attitude behind this.

    However, in the details, it ends up leaving me high and dry.

    Downloads, for me, are for those cases where "there's only one or two tracks on the CD I really like". If an album is any good, I vastly prefer to buy the CD - I enjoy the physical product, the artwork, lyrics/inlay notes, the free backup, the future-proof lossless quality.

    On the other hand, I've no interest in vinyl - I've got no decks!

    So with a choice of "buy the mp3s" or "buy the CD and vinyl boxset", I don't really want either :(

    Shame they're abandoning the middle ground of selling regular CDs, which I'd guess still represents the majority of music purchasing in the western world today.

    (And no, this isn't one of these "and thus I feel justified in pirating" excuse-posts. I spend more of my money on music than any other form of leisure/luxury; over £100/mo isn't uncommon. And I'm in a band who has cd and mp3 sales [keiretsumusic.com] of our own, and we've been at the wrong end of Russian allofmp3 style sites ("wholly legitimate" cry the slashdotters - legally, perhaps, on a technicality, but not morally... they're not sending any money through) and p2p. So, if I like the sound of this, I will pay for it, but I will be slightly miffed there is no way to get a CD without also wasting money (and space) on unwanted vinyl.)

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:33PM (#20813813)
    What would Scott Tenorman pay?
  • Zero paradox (Score:4, Insightful)

    by athloi (1075845) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:34PM (#20813839) Homepage Journal
    If it's worth nothing ($0.00) to you, don't download it, because it's worth nothing to you and therefore you have no need of it.

    This is the first major label major band defection that I can recall since Trent Reznor, and this will be sizably more influential as Radiohead still has a career left.

    The real problem with getting rid of major labels is how artists will handle promotion. Radiohead would not have become this big without mass-media coverage, radio station payola, and other forms of promotion. Independent artists have more freedom and make more money, but how do they promote outside a local area?

    • Re:Zero paradox (Score:4, Interesting)

      by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Monday October 01, 2007 @05:11PM (#20816161) Homepage

      If it's worth nothing ($0.00) to you, don't download it, because it's worth nothing to you and therefore you have no need of it.

      I could buy the air I need to breath -- it's certainly worth enough to me, being necessary for life and all, and people do sell bottled air for underwater use and the like -- but since I'm not under water and here air is superabundant ("not scarce") I don't have to pay anything for it, and quite logically choose not to. I'm sure the air-bottlers would love to eliminate their free competition, but unlike the music publishers they haven't managed to buy themselves a legislative distribution monopoly.

      Translation: when a good is available for free from one source it's hardly surprising that people won't pay more for the same thing elsewhere. It has nothing to do with the good's "worth" and everything to do with the available alternatives -- which in this case are nearly identical in quality and as close to "free" as one is likely to find.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:39PM (#20813905)
    Let's do some math here. At even a couple dollars for the album, compared to the few cents per song that the major recording companies pay, RadioHead comes out even or better after the credit card transaction fee is subtracted. And the fans save their money to buy RH concert tickets and merchandise, where RH makes lots more money. Seems that only the RIAA record companies are cut out of the cash stream.

    That makes me cry -- not at all.

  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:40PM (#20813923) Homepage
    I've always said, if artists I liked would simply put up a paypal link on their page, where I knew all the money went to them... I'd gladly pay even list price for a lot of cd's. Knowing that only 1$ of my 20$ payment goes to the artist, and the rest to the MAFIAA, has long deterred me from purchasing any new music.

    SO... how much of my price goes straight to radiohead? And how much goes to the MAFIAA (if any)? The article wasn't really clear about that point... Anyone care to enlighten me/us?
    • by simong (32944) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:31PM (#20814693) Homepage
      Well, Radiohead are out of contract at the moment so they're releasing this record independently, so the costs are whatever it's cost for them to record it and get the lovely looking discboxes pressed up. Presumably they are using a download service to distribute the digital version (or there's going to be some annoyed people on Wednesday) so they take a chip, and the credit handler takes a chip (preferably not Paypal as they take 2-3%). They probably have publishing costs, but that could be their own company too. With no record company they are not affiliated the RIAA or BPI (UK equivalent) in any way, so they might be receiving a good 90-95% of the overheads before costs.
      The possible downside is that they have had to take all the risk where a record company would usually underwrite it, but Radiohead are a remarkably popular band and I would expect them to recoup. I have thought that there will be a standard CD for the shops (the supermarkets account for a considerable amount of sales in the UK for example), but this being Radiohead, well, they might not.
  • by duerra (684053) * on Monday October 01, 2007 @02:41PM (#20813941) Homepage
    I think this is absolutely great of Radiohead to do, and I give them props for putting their fans first. However, from the perspective of hoping that this moves the industry in the same direction, I don't see that happening. This addresses the problem of "how to cut out the RIAA" from existing, known bands. However, it does not account for how to generate new interest in the marketplace without the RIAA. Currently, 95%+ of the artists out there that most people have actually heard of all still deal with the RIAA.

    iTunes and other online distribution stores are a start. However, there still needs to be a better way to get lesser-known artists' music broadcast to as many people as possible, while still cutting the RIAA out of the loop. The answer to that dilemma? Well, I guess I'm not really sure. =/
  • by FreshFunk510 (526493) on Monday October 01, 2007 @03:08PM (#20814321)
    I'd like to offer a perspective different from the PR stunt that people seem to think it is.

    Perhaps they are just artists. Granted, they've probably made enough money from their prior albums to no longer need to worry about money. They are treating their music like a piece of art. Real art should be free and open to the public (which is why public museums in London are free to the public). If this was their intention then I applaud Radiohead.

    Personally, I'm a fan but not the biggest fan. I would've liked to sample the album beforehand but their reputation and previous albums are good enough for me to put money on the line.
  • Well, if nobody can download the Radiohead album from anywhere except via BitTorrent then that kindof kills there business model where the site was going to ask for a donation.

    If people download the album from another place they aren't going to see any donations.

    They need to get their site fixed so that it is no longer getting slashdotted or else they areen't going to prove anything.
  • by /dev/trash (182850) on Monday October 01, 2007 @07:05PM (#20817311) Homepage Journal
    You'll notice that he's NOT finished that story since people were not paying.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

Working...