Radiohead's Donation Album Idea Spread Over Internet

The internet has been buzzing about the implications of a band of Radiohead's size breaking away from the traditional label model.

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After the bands stunning announcement on Monday, the internet has been buzzing about the implications of a band of Radiohead's size breaking away from the traditional label model. James Montgomery of Bigger Than The Sound commented, saying:

"It's testament enough to Radiohead that they've chosen to turn the industry on its ear by releasing In Rainbows on their own. It's a ballsy gamble that might just change the way established bands do business from here on out. But perhaps an even bigger compliment is that with one move, they've managed to make me and the majority of music journalists I know excited again."

Billboard magazine notes that the idea has been incredibly popular with the band's official site overwhelmed by pre-orders. Finally, the band participated in a two-part interview discussing the event:

"It's really liberating not to feel part of the record company structures. It should be an extremely positive place to be in but I think at the moment it's like the cartoon bit when Roadrunner comes of the cliff and keeps running - then looks down." You can check out the interview here.

As reported earlier, Radiohead recently unveiled plans to release their upcoming album, In Rainbows on October 10, 2007 and is asking people to "name their price." Outside of the obvious impact of self-releasing the album, the entire plan will prove to be a remarkable experiment on what people are willing to pay, and whether they will pay something - anything - when pirated downloads are available.

Thanks for the info to Punknews.org.

48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    recliner33
    I think this is a smart idea. Sure, it is ballsy and they will probably lose money from it, but I don't think radiohead is all that desperate for money anyways. They seem like they are pretty well off. But they are probably the first band to ever do this, at least the first popular band to do so. And other bands will probably try the same thing in the near future. This reminds me of when Ozzy made ozzfest free this year and the tour did well from what I heard.
    zzany1
    i dont have a problem paying 15 quid for a cd when it is as good as ok computer, but in the last 5 years theres only been a few truly great full albums. ive downloaded crap of torrentspy that i havent even bothered to listen to which says there are no dark side of the moons today
    SkateNDestroy39
    id buy this one and pay twnety dollars for it. i love radiohead. but i wanna wait for the one they're releasing in december. itll come with two cds, two vinyls, and artwork. its gonna be 80 dollars.... but o well. i got a job now. so its all cool.
    XibanezedgeX
    I think its genious, a band as big as Radiohead doesn't need a label for advertising or marketing, they're big enough and rich enough to risk this. If it works it can be a major hit for the Labels who are dying out the way it is. Plus this is a HUGE publicity stunt really, if the album is good it will sell, regardless of label. But since they don't have a label to give publicity, they're getting so much of it from this that 1) id doesn't matter they're unsigned and 2) this album will defintally sell loads. My prediction is at least Gold. I'm defintally pumped for this (Both the album [Radiohead is one of the two "mainstream popular" band I love] and for this whole concept and seeing the Major Labels reactions), how bout you guys?
    zekk
    Its great. I'm downloading the album for free, legally from them. And if I like it, like I almost 100% will I will go out and shell out 81 bucks for the 2 CD 2 record thing. Its ballsy and brilliant.
    Snarl Dreadwood
    first of all can't wait to hear the album it's going to be awesome. second of all, they are probably going to make heaps of money because there is no middle man. with a record label the artist only gets a tiny ammount of money from every album sold. now ALL the profits go directly to them, and because it's such a strange thing to do they have gotten all the publicity they need for it. good job radiohead!
    samerika
    Oh, I still haven't changed my mind, and still think that this is great news.
    tallicafan888
    Even if no-one pays any money for the online mp3's, think of all the money they will get from publicity. Tv shows, magazines, new tours, radio...they will get loads of money. They are cunning.
    nikh158
    I don`t even like Radiohead after "The Bends" era, but I`m going to buy this, simply because I feel I`m contributing to a possible revolution. Giving all the power (not to mention the money) back to the the musicians and not the suits. Rock On Radiohead!
    Absent Mind
    This could make them alot of money because as stated the fans are loving it and pre ordering already, but unless every person pays at least what it costs to manufacture and ship the cd, they could end up with a huge loss on their hands Im hoping the fans will pull through, because there will always be people that enter 1p...
    ShaDoW0lf
    I don't think this idea will work for most bands. Radiohead are the first to do it (I stand to correction) so the media are all hyped about it, but the next band to try it won't get half the attention from the media/public as they are getting.. (or perhaps they will, but the band after THEM probably won't, if you get my drift) Besides, regardless of what we want to believe, record companies and basic albums are important. The fact of the matter is that labels are the only good source of money available to launch an album, since a loan is way too much risk for a brand new band to take on. Radiohead are the one and only roadrunners
    Learn_to_fly
    zzany1 wrote: i dont have a problem paying 15 quid for a cd when it is as good as ok computer, but in the last 5 years theres only been a few truly great full albums. ive downloaded crap of torrentspy that i havent even bothered to listen to which says there are no dark side of the moons today
    In the last 5 years we've had SOME decent albums oi. "Absolution", "Food & Liquor", "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not", and "Neon Bible" were all amazing albums, not quite as great as DSOTM but still, quite good. And I paid nothing for this, but definately getting the 80bucks set man, thats gonna be freaking epic! Long live Thom Yorke!
    SL!!!
    You can "buy" it for free. Set your price to 00.00 Seriously. You get a confirmation email and everything. lol.
    ithinkfloyd
    When I tell people that I'm going to pay around 20 for the album, they look at me like I'm stupid. They ask "Why would you pay for it when you could get it for free?" to which i respond "Because Radiohead is awesome and they deserve the money." to which they respond "But why not get it for free?" silly people. Radiohead is neat.
    Woogles
    raasbo wrote: I like Radiohead a lot, and I believe that anything between $15 and $20 is a fair price for a cd.
    20$? 7$ more like it
    Rengori
    Woogles wrote: raasbo wrote: I like Radiohead a lot, and I believe that anything between $15 and $20 is a fair price for a cd. 20$? 7$ more like it
    Seriously, $20 is why I don't buy albums. Chances are I'm not going to listen to the entire album often, and most albums don't justify a $20 price tag.
    RosT3n
    but i think we can all agree that this is a genius hopefully business-changing move. and btw... some albums are worth 20 bucks, but not many are, and i would pay even more for a album like ok computer.
    Havenspear
    Jaffaps2 wrote: So, like, Radiohead are signed to Roadrunner now?
    I'm afraid some people don't appretiate your wit. I lol'd mahself. I'm planning on payin' 7 dollars for this album.
    cloudy_skies
    raasbo wrote: I like Radiohead a lot, and I believe that anything between $15 and $20 is a fair price for a cd.
    I don't. It now costs about a dollar to manufacture, burn, package, and shrinkwrap one CD, and nine times out of ten the CD has a few good tracks and a bunch of drivel. Not to mention that for those of us who make minimum wage, just buying a few CDs takes up a lot of our paycheck. Even if it is Radiohead, I'd still pay 8 bucks, tops. (That's about how much money I paid for Sgt. Pepper, so I think it's a fair price!)
    Jau_Peacecraft
    hmm... possibly "more" money in the long term by sticking with the record companies (after the re-coup for advertising costs, marketing etc. etc., making a nice profit from an album a much more of a wait and see thing) or cold hard cash straight from the fans, only needing to re-coup for distribution (bandwidth, etc...) and studio costs, seeing a much more short & medium term profit, as well as a long term profit depending on how good the album is and how successful this new mode of distribution is and if its successful make history. seems like a no brainer to me. of course, it doesn't hurt that its Radiohead doing this, their albums will pretty much sell themselves at this point (if a certain album is good), but someones gotta open the gate. If Radiohead manage this (more than sure they will), I will salute them. In Rainbows also sounds like a better title than Hail To The Thief...
    damienricecakes
    surely this will make them a fair bit of money as they have such a huge and devoted fanbase as well as little people stealing the profits? btw dus any1 know where to get the original to motion picture soundtrack? i hear theres a third verse bout an angel anyways i love radiohead, dunno how muh im payin for cd though
    Belsius
    I think they are goingt to make a lot of money out of this. Its such a great idea. I just hope the album is as good as this project.
    mattyp90
    Aside from being a great idea, is anyone else more excited about the actual album now because of this. I am, I can't wait.
    jpast
    Doesnt he mean Wile Coyote is looking down.... Anyway excited about the new album. Very clever idea.
    C_Turton
    Despite being able to name your own price, there will always be a load of dicks who insist on getting it free on limewire. Still, more power to you, Radiohead!
    raasbo
    I like Radiohead a lot, and I believe that anything between $15 and $20 is a fair price for a cd.
    phalliccymbals
    I don't think they'll be losing any money on this, since they won't have the huge advertising structure the record companies use (TV ads/partnerships and payola). Mostly they're just in for the studio costs and bandwidth. Plus, as an independent release they'll be receiving the majority of profits, instead of a buck an album. Hopefully the album will be decent though. I probably won't pay anything for it, but I'd fork out a hundred bucks to see them on tour (yeah, I'm one of those hypocrite fags who doesn't believe in buying albums, which are really just advertisements for tours).
    burndttoast
    If Radiohead's new method of doing things catches on, I'll be able to tell my kids that I was part of it, haha.
    burnout202
    not only does this rock, but its also really really good advertising, think how many people will hear about this album soley becuase of the whole "name your price" thing.
    modernage13
    But perhaps an even bigger compliment is that with one move, they've managed to make me and the majority of music journalists I know excited again."
    yea cause bands always are out to please music journalists...
    str84ever
    modernage13 wrote: But perhaps an even bigger compliment is that with one move, they've managed to make me and the majority of music journalists I know excited again." yea cause bands always are out to please music journalists...
    did it occur to you that they have excited them because this is something which has never been done and that they can get a good story out of it. Next time think before you just blurt out some stupid sarcastic comment.
    shwilly
    "Its really liberating not to feel part of the record company structures. It should be an extremely positive place to be in but I think at the moment its like the cartoon bit when Roadrunner comes of the cliff and keeps running - then looks down."
    Some advice for Thom Yorke here: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!! Because you're kind of mistaken > the roadrunner never stopped to look down, he just did his thing without being too thoughtfull... which I guess is why he made it. The coyote was the one who always used to look down, and that's why he fell on his ass every time
    Koeniewoonie
    It will be a succes, They got the media you know. That is everything they need... it is very interesting for everyone to chose the price...The media is all you need these days, when the media don't like you, you don't stand a chance. Radiohead is the best band in the world!!
    tilinmyowngrave
    Thom Yorke. You are a god. And wtf is all about "Is radiohead signed to roadrunner?" Yeah ofcourse they have. Matt Heafy wrote all their songs too.
    mannyfresh
    One of the only handful of bands that are relevant nowadays. Finally there's something in music to be excited about.