You might not know it from looking at me, but I’m a lover of all things punk. Conventions are boring and doing things just because one is “suppose to” makes me want to throw up a little bit. That’s why I’m drawn to Radiohead’s movement to change the business of music.
A couple months back, Radiohead blew off iTunes and opted to sell their new album, “In Rainbows,” on their own Web site for the compelling price of… you pick. That’s right, you got to choose how much you wanted to pay for it.
Radiohead called the experiment, which came to a close Monday, “the most positive thing we’ve done.” And according to Wired, it was an “undeniable success” because of the attention it grabbed for the music group. I still haven’t seen a credible assessment of the average amount Radiohead was able to pull in per album, but the move to go it alone was an attractive enough proposition to me that I downloaded the album and paid what I believed to be full-price: $12.99. Hey, at least with Radiohead, I know I’ll enjoy listening to the *whole* album.
What a brilliant move on Radiohead’s part. It demonstrated an awesome understanding of its fans, and a confidence in its music and ability to produce an entire album. Plus, it had the added bonus of giving the music industry, the greedy labels and pay-per-track sites like iTunes the big finger.
So here’s to Radiohead, who didn’t follow the rest, created its own path and succeeded brilliantly in doing it! Who knew business could be so punk rock?!