Recently in the UK one of my favourite recording artists Prince gave away his latest album for free by fixing the cd to the front of The Mail On Sunday. Okay, it wasn’t one of his best albums in my opinion, but that’s not really the point. Last weekend the Scottish group Travis did a similar thing with a compilation CD that included their new single.
Now, Radiohead are receiving a lot of attention by allowing you to download their new album In Rainbows ( site seems to be having problems though) and you can choose to pay as much or (more likely) as little as you want. Actually, you may not get it completely free as there will probably be a credit card handling fee. I hope the album is another OK Computer.
Whilst I’m presuming Radiohead are still planning on making money from their new album (or at least generate publicity and raise sales from the back catalogue), it highlights how damaging for traditional recording and media industries it can be when the artist becomes the publisher too, bypassing the traditional route to market but still being completely in touch with the target consumer via websites and blogs. It must be hell being a music publishing company nowadays.