The music business is a tough one these days.
The normal course of things is that a band records an album, gears up for its big release date, and then, a week prior to that date, the album is leaked onto the Web, where fans download it for free. Bands cry, record companies sue, and the fans shrug. Whatever, dudes.
But now, droopy, downbeat indie darling Radiohead has found a way to circumvent the tendency of fans to get their albums online for free: by giving away their new album, In Rainbows, online for free! Such a masterstroke of ironic jujitsu has not been seen since, like, the last Radiohead concert.
Actually, they are not technically giving the album away free. They are allowing anyone to download it and then "pay what you want," which, if we are keen judges of human character, will be very little.
But money's not really the issue. Even if they get an average of $5 each for their newest release, they will have proven that they can distribute their own music. No middleman! No bootleggers! Screw you, record companies! Screw you, cheap-ass fans!
Well, that last one will remain unsaid. No band would even be trying such a harebrained scheme, though, if they could still get $17.99 a pop for CDs at Tower Records. But it's a brave new world, and Radiohead fans everywhere will enjoy this new way to become depressed at a lower price.
PR Play Rating:
3. On the right track