Well, Radiohead‘s new album is coming soon. I don’t really like Radiohead, particularly their new ‘Alan Parsons Project-with-an-Oxford-attitude’ iteration. I know, I know. “The Bends” was an epic album and “Ok Computer” changed your life. I just don’t like them.
The interweb is all abuzz today with the news that the band will offer its new album, In Rainbows, as a pay-what-you-want download. What does that mean? Exactly what is says. Radiohead fans will be able to pay whatever they want for the new album. Two dollars, twenty dollars, your left kidney- anything goes.
This is not a new idea. Jane Siberry (who has, in some bizarro new age breakdown, now changed her name to Issa) has a similar policy on her website, and actually makes on average slightly more than the suggested price per download. So there may be something to this whole PWYC vibe.
Of course, Radiohead is by far the largest band to experiment with PWYC, so it will be interesting to see how it all turns out. And they can only do it because they are so big, they can afford to self-produce and release their music. The vast majority of name-brand artists are still shackled by the dinosaur-like major labels, lumbering towards extinction clinging to the vain hope their old business model is still valid.
So, Radiohead fans, have a good time paying what you can. For my part, I’ll be spending my cash- albeit old-fashionedly- on another artist.
H/T to MN for the link.