Feeds

Why have Radiohead broken freetards' hearts?

One or two things you didn't know about In Rainbows...

High performance access to file storage

Radiohead made a low-bitrate version available several weeks ahead of the physical release of In Rainbows. The management even waived the credit card charge - and you could get the album, in its entirety, for free.

Such was the buzz around Radiohead's approach to market that few people noticed that it really wasn't very inspired. No one seemed to mind very much. Contractually free of their deal with EMI, the band signed with Beggars Group indie label XL Recordings to release the physical version - which went on to top the charts in the UK and the USA. Many fans paid twice for the same recording - and some of these are fans who'll complain about the music business' practice of getting us to pay for the same record twice as one format supersedes another.

How the honesty box worked

Despite investing £20,000 in new servers to cope with the demand for the digital preview, Radiohead benefited from the "honesty box" release in several ways. There's the one I've mentioned: the bet that people would pay twice - once for the preview, and again for the physical release.

There was an instant cash-flow dividend, too. There was no waiting around for a royalty statement from the Accounting Department of the Mega Label. And best of all, the renewed interest from overseas - particularly the United States - gave the band far higher royalties than they'd gain from a physical release with a major label.

So although fewer fans put less money into the honesty box than many people claimed, it didn't really matter. Enough had done so to recoup the one-off costs - and the album was available as a sampler for weeks.

But one-offs, by definition, are not to be repeated. Neither Trent Reznor nor Coldplay have generated anything quite like the publicity that In Rainbows digital preview enjoyed.

Without the Freetards, the publicity coup could never have happened. Even the most inventive major label marketing genius with the biggest budget would have struggled to get such an indifferent "product" to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

And the real money, you'll note, is in the CD, and getting fans to pay twice. Which looks a lot like the Old Business Model to me. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.