2024-05-20 12:35:34
David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Musiv market data/music

Wired

In the first month, about a million fans downloaded In Rainbows. Roughly 40 percent of them paid for it, according to comScore, at an average of $6 each, netting the band nearly $3 million. Plus, since it owns the master recording (a first for the band), Radiohead was also able to license the album for a record label to distribute the old-fashioned way — on CD. In the US, it goes on sale January 1 through TBD Records/ATO Records Group.

While pay-what-you-will worked for Radiohead, though, it’s hard to imagine the model paying off for Miley Cyrus — aka chart-topping teenybopper Hannah Montana. Cyrus’ label, Walt Disney Records, will stick to selling CDs in Wal-Mart, thank you very much. But the truth is that Radiohead didn’t intend In Rainbows to start a revolution. The experiment simply proves there is plenty of room for innovation in the music business — this is just one of many new paths. Wired asked David Byrne — a legendary innovator himself and the man who wrote the Talking Heads song “Radio Head” from which the group takes its name — to talk with Yorke about the In Rainbows distribution strategy and what others can learn from the experience.

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