Two more big music artists free from record industry contracts are rumored to be considering following in Radiohead’s footsteps.
I mentioned last week how Radiohead will offer its new album "In Rainbows," which goes on sale today in fact, for free, allowing fans to pay as little or as much as they want to download a copy from their website. Now it seems as though a couple of other big name artists may now follow Radiohead’s lead and get in on the act of offering their content directly to fans.
It’s no secret that bands make most of their money from merchandising and concert tours, recovering as little as $1.99 on a $16.98 CD retail price. In fact, one Universal exec mentioned a while back that this should change, that revenue streams should adapt so that it gets a cut from "…concerts, merchandising, sponsorship, song-writing etc.."
By making their content more widely available to fans, artists can thereby increase the demand to see their concerts and purchase stuff to show their support for the band. With artists getting a meager return on physical CDs anyways, they really have little to lose and everything to gain. It may just be what they need to stay relevant in a society where people have almost unlimited options for media consumption and entertainment.
It really comes down to in light of falling CD sales why would a band want to sign away years of their career when they could just as easily achieve similar financial results on their own?
If Radiohead’s experiment with "In Rainbows" proves to be successful then it may be all that Oasis, Jamiroquai, and other big name talents unencumbered by record industry contracts need to take the plunge and offer free album downloads.
Again, today’s the day that Radiohead’s latest album "In Rainbows" is available for download online so I urge you to log on and donate a few bucks to make this grand experiment of theirs a success.
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