Wednesday, October 03, 2007

OK Computer? Radiohead call a new tune

Jesus, the labels must be shitting themselves...

In an interesting turn of events Radiohead have just pulled the rug from under the music industry with a canny move by selling their new album direct to the consumer themselves.

Now whilst I doubt that Thom Yorke will be physically manni
ng the till, it is a tactic that I think the whole music industry will be watching with baited breath. The remaining question being, how much did you pay?

By daring to do what iTunes does the band seems to be cutting out the middle man (hereby called the drummer) and passing a potential saving to the fans. Loyal fans these Radiohead nuts and it seems that when you offer trust you receive loyalty in kind. General feedback to date, despite the temptation to submit an offer of one english penny, is that fans are paying what they belive to be a fair price for the new album. Fair might not quite reconcile with what HMV charges but it's not a million miles away it seems as I read prices being quoted of £8.99 (It's what Tescos would have charged...) to £5.00 (I think they deserve something to cover costs...)

The lessons here are fascinating.

  1. Radiohead will no doubt gain an army of new fans from this idea. Previous album sales (think Amnesiac and Hail To The Thief) were relatively poor and this stunt has succeeded in attracting online shoppers, iPod at the ready, who will spend money at a click of a mouse instead of venturing out into the aisles.

  2. Distribution can be controlled by the producer. The labels and the retailers will need to evolve and offer better value for money if this works. You can bet the remaining dollar you didn't give Radiohead that other bands are watching.

  3. Positive and intriguing PR can beat a slick marketing campaign any day. Saves the costs on billboards and pass the savings to the consumer.
"If the best band in the world doesn't want a part of us, I'm not sure what's left for this business."
[A&R executive]

1 comment:

sholford said...

With all this hype I have to hear whether the album is actually any good. I am going to be one of the tight gits who pays £2 (easily cover their costs). If it's any good, I may pay for another download, at a higher price.... if i get round to it.