Radiohead shows us the music industry of the future

radiohead

What if you could set the price for an album you wanted to purchase? Wouldn’t it be great to have the ability to spend $5 to check out a new band, and $25 for a band you absolutely love? It might happen sooner than you think, with Radiohead leading the charge:

As expected, Radiohead has gone an unusual route for distribution of its seventh studio album, “In Rainbows.” The set will be available for digital download from the band’s Web site beginning Oct. 10, but with a twist — fans can name their own price for the purchase. “It’s up to you,” reads a disclaimer on the checkout screen.

Make no mistake, this is a big deal. Radiohead is obviously a very successful band with a huge fan base which allows them to experiment like this, but dammit someone has to. It might as well be Radiohead. I’ve written about making the music free before, and I’m glad to now see some action.

Techdirt notes that there is more to the story, in that Radiohead is also offering a “discbox” for $80 USD that contains the album on CD and vinyl, along with an additional CD with seven tracks, plus photos, artwork, and lyrics.

In this case, Radiohead isn’t really selling the “music.” After all, you can get that for free. They’re selling the full collection of stuff that comes with the music. Funny how it’s the musicians, and not the record labels, who seem to realize that adding value and getting people to pay for it is a business model that beats suing fans.

This is really cool. Music fans everywhere should be extremely happy about this giant leap forward! There’s more great stuff on the story at Boing Boing.

Read: Billboard