12 de octubre de 2007


Radiohead está utilizando una estrategia singular para promover y distribuir su nuevo disco In Rainbows: está dejando que sus fans le pongan precio a la descarga de las canciones. Su manager, Bryce Edge, comentó para el New York Times:
Digital technology has reintroduced the age of the troubadour. You are worth what people are prepared to give you in the digital age because they can get it for nothing.
Alex Burns de disinfo.com hace notar algunos detalles al respecto:
• Radiohead have 3 release strategies for In Rainbows to hedge a "worst case" scenario: the download on 10th October 2007, the deluxe box in December 2007, and a possible CD release on a label in January 2008. Radiohead's managers signaled this strategy during media interviews in early October 2007.

• Even though In Rainbows will end up on BitTorrent and Russian piracy sites, many of Radiohead's fans are still willing to pay for the download --- and some will pay more than in-store retail because the money goes to the band --- and the music is worth the investment. Even if most people download the album for free, the band can still recoup its recording costs with the other releases, and through merchandising and touring.

• Consider Steve Albini's analysis of the standard recording contract in The Problem With Music: a new band actually goes heavily into debt due to the expenses of major label recording: artists & repertoire, studio, producer, management, promotional and video clip costs. Radiohead have avoided most of these costs by not being with a major label, not releasing a single to radio, no cover art for the download, and no expensive video clip. Instead, Radiohead has hopefully built its own studio, leased or bought the equipment, and offered producer Nigel Godrich a combination fee-for-service upfront and percentage points from the album sales.

• Even without a major label's public relations budget Radiohead still gets a 4.5/5 star rating from Rolling Stone. They get coverage from the agenda-setting media and the blogosphere. US radio stations stream In Rainbows in its entirety or let fans vote on what "singles" to play. Who needs 'push'-style' marketeers?

• Radiohead stormed the reality studio with OK Computer (1997). They deconstructed their roles with Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001). They rocked back with Hail To The Thief (2003). Now with In Rainbows, Radiohead take on the recording industry's taboos: standard contracts and major label's cost structures.