What if music should be free?

Money - photo

It’s hard to be writing in any publication concerning audio and not comment about this week’s events. Radiohead shocked the industry by announcing it’s new album In Rainbows was available to download for any price you think it’s worth (including free). They also let us know they are no longer bound contractually by EMI. They broke another convention by not giving radio stations a single to hype before the album release.

Besides paying (if you so choose) for the digital download super fans can purchase a box set for £40 that contains a CD, 2x 12″ vinyl and a bonus CD with some photos and artwork. Interestingly, the NYTimes.com reports: “And Radiohead plans to release “In Rainbows” as an old-fashioned CD no later than January, though it has not determined if it will return to a major label to do so.”.

It seems like Radiohead has made a smart move and covered all their bases. They look like heroes for dropping EMI and giving their music away for free. They also did it first and such are receiving lots of attention. They have a plan to make some money and even a fall back to the traditional CD on a major label if things don’t work out.

Trent Reznor, Jamiroquai and Oasis all said they have similar plans. Somewhat related Madonna turned down an offer from Warner Music Group to go with concert promoter Live Nation Inc.

But wait a minute. Deep breath. What does this really mean? At first I was actually angry. I thought “Great, a bunch of rich people are giving away what I need to sell to make a Continue reading What if music should be free?