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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Chip...Chip...Chip: Radiohead Chisels Away At Music Industry

Altrok Radio hasn't played a lot of Radiohead, and actually hasn't had to - they're so well represented in so many other forums that we'd rather devote our precious airtime to bands that need the exposure (though the fact that we still have some of their tracks in rotation means we can't see a reason not to play them, either.)

Their most recent maneuver, however, raises their profile (in our worldview, anyway) quite a lot.

In short, with the impending release of their new album, entitled "In Rainbows", they're telling us, "The music matters, but that's not all there is to us." In long form, they're telling us that, next week, we can pay what we like for their music as long as we drop by their site to collect it, and if we truly desire an heirloom-quality keepsake of this phase of their career, we can purchase it directly from them in a form (and at a price) that befits its value to us.

A few other things can be teased out of their logic:
  • If you don't want to pay for their music, they feel no reason to keep it from entertaining you.
  • They also feel no reason to make someone else rich (e.g. the music industry) just because you don't value it enough to pay for it.
  • If you want something of value that's associated with the music, they will provide it. They'll even throw in a little extra music - more as an example of what was judged as less-than-worthy of inclusion in the finished product, than a desire to keep it away from people who wouldn't appreciate it anyway.
  • If you do want the physical object, they don't particularly care how you listen to it; in fact, they'll make it easy for you to play on the player of your choice. (Unless you're an 8-Track, cassette and reel-to-reel aficionado, though if that's you, times are pretty hard all 'round.)
  • They are musicians who create music, and now they are publishers who publish physical objects. The music, however, is not a physical object and should not be treated as one.
It's a grand experiment, and it's one that I hope they'll be successful at. In the meantime, I see no reason not to support their plans fully. Well done.


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