Feeds

Radiohead lets fans price new CD

Rich popstars bless trickle-down economics

The essential guide to IT transformation

Labelless, but hardly penniless, Radiohead are letting their fans set the price for digital downloads of the band's new CD.

Fans will be able to pay as little as 1p - plus a mandatory 45p credit card fee - for the In Rainbows album. The new release will also be available in physical form - £40 for a box-set - easily affordable to the well-heeled bourgeois bedwetters who make up the band's core following.

Then again, this is such a guilt-ridden corpus of record-buyers they may well feel obliged to make more than the minimum donation.

Radiohead has the freedom to make such decisions: the group declined to renew a contract with EMI/Capitol after their last album in 2003.

The trend is being hailed as a iconic gesture that heralds the end of the big, vertically integrated record label. But it really follows the recent trend of rich popstars giving away their recorded material - while keeping more of the bounty for themselves.

Prince recently distributed his latest CD as a cover mount on the Mail On Sunday, while Travis gave away a Greatest Hits compilation. Robbie Williams has also rejected a major label: shunning the tender loving care of EMI in favour of a management deal backed by infusions of private equity money.

But be careful what you wish for.

The extravagant cost-base of the major label already ensures its obsolescence in the digital era.

"This is the industry's worst nightmare. Superstar band, THE superstar band, forging ahead by its own wits. Proving that others can too. And they will," raved industry punchbag Bob Lefsetz.

But successful artists have always been able to subsidise more interesting but less popular artists on the roster. Last week's BBC documentary on Factory Records revealed the extent to which New Order underwrote ventures such as the Hacienda club for over a decade. When the rich keep more for themselves, there's less for everyone else.

How ironic that these impeccable liberals should be endorsing trickle down economics and contributing to a wider disparity in wealth.

No logos, though. How cool. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.