The music industry was turned on its ear this morning when Radiohead allowed the launch of their fifth album, In Rainbows, to be downloaded for FREE. Recently ending their contract with EMI/Capitol, this marks their first release since Hail to The Thief in 2003.
Fans do have the option of paying/donating any price they deem worthy. But why would they? Because the chance to send major music labels a big F-U is a deal too sweet to pass up. With all proceeds going directly to the band, the launch is not sitting to well with record executives. Especially when powerhouses Oasis and Jamiroquai are rumored to be planning their own free album downloads.
Typically once all marketing and production costs have been paid, bands can expect less than a buck per album sale. But with this revolutionary endeavor all negotiations and middle men are cut out.
Ironically, Raidohead’s public generosity could make Rainbows their most profitable album yet.
Check out Zero Paid.com’s in-depth article on the launch, and take a moment to review the pie chart explaining how many gazillions of dollars record labels are really making. Scary stuff.