Feeds

Radiohead lets fans price new CD

Rich popstars bless trickle-down economics

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.