Wednesday, December 12, 2007

80s Life. The Good The Bad And The Queen

Radiohead, The Stooges and The Good The Bad and The Queen begun making and distributing their own music DIY. Sonic Youth was doing DIY and basically put DIY in the dictionary. Are we seeing some innovations in music biz a bit like 10 Ways To fix The Music Industry?

Radiohead was offering it's new album In Rainbows for sale online, for whatever price fans wanted to pay for it...but now their website has shut down sales...

The obvious question now is why would Radiohead kill the promotion and go back to a traditional sales model if the cash were rolling in?

The album is still in its infancy, say music industry executives. The economic life span of an album can last as long as two years. It starts when an act releases a record and is extended when the performer goes on a concert tour.

"For those of you who wish to buy In Rainbows in the usual way," said a message at Radiohead's site on Tuesday, "it will be available on CD/vinyl and download from traditional outlets from the 31st December 2007."

Several publications have also reported that Radiohead is negotiating to make In Rainbows available on iTunes.

You can argue that the reason to pull the plug on the offering is to give the band a chance to tap into the shrinking but lucrative CD market. Discs are still the way most people listen to music.

But if the pay-what-you-want promotion was a cash cow, why not keep it going at the same time that you sell CDs? If the digital and CD markets are separate then there's no fear of undercutting disc sales. If they are not, then hasn't the high-profile online promotion already doomed physical sales?
From here.

It seems Radiohead took a page out of The Clash's history (they once sold a three album release for 2 bucks called Sandinista) made for their fans.

Radiohead gave fans a couple of weeks to get the album by downloading it...and now the band moves sales to the traditional format.

Interesting how inventive bands are often inventive at marketing and beating the market...

It works both ways too. Many huge pop stars a couple of decades ago have found themselves without support. Recording companies say they can't sell them. Some of these pop stars have taken the route of corporate sponsorship in order to pursue their artistic visions. Bob Dylan is making a statement by working on a mainstream radio program and doing an SUV commercial. Joni Mitchell hadn't made a record and stopped making music until Starbucks approached her with a record deal.

"John Mellancamp has for years gotten the cold shoulder from critics. More recently he's been harassed for his anti-war views. Unfazed, he's just made what may be the best album of his multi-platinum, 31-year career, Freedom's Road—and if it takes a Chevy-truck ad to get it heard, that's fine by him." from Vanity Fair

A few of my blog friends are writing and being published outside the mainstream publishing industry and here is a good example with a book by Amy Ruttan (remember I met her in London Ontario this summer?) We are seeing more and more p2p economic emergence and it isn't even the apocalypse yet.

Thirteen loosely considered things about working in the arts...Visitors leaving a comment will be linked here: 1) comedy Plus 2) Puss Reboots 3) The Pink flamingo 4) A Gentleman's Domain 5) Pop Culture Dish 6) Grearfulliving 7) Nicole Austin-Romance Writer 8) One Old Green Bus 9) Damozel 10) Don't Eat Baby 11) Midnight Moon Cafe 12) Four dinners 13) The Urban Zoo 14) Tweetey 15) Lori's Light Extemporanea 16) From A Lofty Perch 17) Fond of Photography


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I haven't a clue who Radiohead is. I have heard of Mellancamp though. Have a great TT. :)

pussreboots said...

The growing pains that publishing and music industries are seeing now reminds me of what film and later television have gone through. Give it another couple of years for things to sort themselves out. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.

SJ Reidhead said...

Like Sandee above, I have no idea who these people are. But then I am out of touch and have been since Elvis died!

The Pink Flamingo

Nicholas said...

I don't recognize the names but it's still interesting to see how marketing is developing as the technology available to us changes.

Malcolm: said...

I was surprised by Radiohead's marketing approach for their latest album. I am even more surprised that it seemed to be lucrative.

The route that John Mellencamp took is becoming the norm for some of the older acts (Sting did the same thing a few years ago). One thing that I have always liked about Mellencamp is that he has always stuck to his beliefs, regardless of whether or not those beliefs might affect his popularity.

Greatfullivin said...

I am lost with everyone except Mellencamp. He lives only a few miles from me, here in Indiana and we hear about him all the time. Glad to hear is cd is so good.

Nicole Austin said...

Interesting. Some of the things going on in the music industry are just crazy!

Happy TT!

DoubleDeckerBusGuy said...

The "traditional record label" music house is a dying industry... and they need to adapt and improve... and worse yet, they did it to themselves when they got very greedy and forced the switch from vinyl to CD... sure, they sold a pantload of CDs... but "Digital Music in the Home" was born and most of the techies knew it was a matter of time... and it was!

Adapt or die...

...and I'd forgotten about Sandinista! I am shamed!

I was never a JCM fan really... but never say never... I'll give it a go.

YummY! said...

I'm sort of amused that so many commenter's have no idea who you're talking about.

I still prefer to have my music on a disc.

damozel said...

The music industry needs to accept that its days of star-making (and exploiting those it made) are numbered. That's a good thing in my book.

The internet has changed the way intellectual property is developed, marketed, and sold and I am very happy about that. The Flatland Almanack --Damozel

Mommychicky said...

At Thanksgiving, a 14-year old cousin wanted to know if I knew who Radiohead was and then told me that his friend downloaded the new Radiohead for free and that he thought that if his friend was really a fan, he would have paid for it. I then had to explain to the dear boy that I not only knew who Radiohead was, but had bought "The Bends" on CD, back when it came out back in the mid-90's, when we had to pay for music.

Check me out if you get the chance. Happy TT!

Tempest Knight said...

Sonic Youth and Radiohead... man, that sure brought me memories of big hair, lots of Aquanet, and synth music.


Times have changed eh? These days you want the latest release you can download it for free.

Sounds great but musicians have to earn a crust or we'll lose em.

Somethings got to give.

Sue said...

Great list idea Candy, and thanks so much for stopping by! :) I am a cynic when it comes to any type of marketing ;)

tweetey30 said...

These pop stars come and go and its hard to keep up with everyone. We have acouple of Radio head cd's around the house somewhere..

Lori's Light Extemporanea said...

This has to be the single most original TT I've read today.

Happy Thursday,

Gardenia said...

I was in a bubble in the 80's (Wyoming) and that was my "monastery period." The most of the outside world was when I dialed Banana Republic's number to assure myself that there was indeed a land out there beyond "where the wind blew heavy on the borderline."

It is a shame that the mainstream can keep talent down -

The p2p is making giant inroads in Iran. Also politically - etc. It is nice to know we can live without the "establishment" telling us how and what, huh?

I guess Russia's population went underground after the cold war because the economy was in the pitts and developed their own economy! It's encouraging - perhaps we WILL survive.

Janet said...

Mellencamp FINALLY got inducted...bout damn time!