I figured I would start out my first blog talking about something that I'm sure most people have heard and been talking about, which is the new marketing strategies that are giving back to the fans, most notably Radiohead. Recently they released their album "In Rainbows" on their website where consumers can buy the album for how ever much they want to spend, whether its $5, $20 dollars, or for FREE! They were able to do this because they don't belong to a record label and therefore own the distribution rights. So far the album has made over $3 million dollars, with $6 being the average price that people bought the album for. "In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together forever," Yorke told Wired. They simultaneously release a box set including the "In Rainbows" CD with additional songs, vinyl records, artwork and lyrics for $80.
In my opinion, I'm glad that SOME artists are finally realizing that if they want any future in the music industry, that they are going to have to stop ignoring the fans and give back after years of music consumers being raped by album prices (i.e. saving up my money in junior high for weeks just to buy ONE CD at Best Buy for over $20. anyone else remember that?) What I love about Radiohead's approach is what I've been saying for years: I'm not about to go and buy a CD if I just like one song on the album, or buy a CD of an artist that I'm not that familiar with, so why risk the purchase if I don't even like them that much? Also, Radiohead is one of the most successful bands and has had a huge following for years. You know that many fans chose to pay full price because they acknowledge the hard work and dedication to the music they enjoy. I've gotten offers from friends to let me burn a CD that i've been anticipating buying, and I won't lie, I have done that a couple times. But after a while I felt guilty about enjoying my favorite music without rewarding the artists for their hard work and creativity. I happily bought CDs of bands like Gym Class Heroes and The Academy Is because I want them to prosper in the industry, as well as falling for many more marketing products like shirts, posters, magazines that feature the artists, and of course concert tickets!
Basically what this shows on a grander scheme, that I've seen for some time now, is that people don't want to buy CDs anymore, obviously because everything is going digital, along with the overpricing. Although this has been hurting major record companies, the music industry isn't just going to "disappear" like many uniformed people say, but I don't think CDs are going to be the major source of profit. Sure people are still going to buy music, but online. The biggest factor for making money are concerts. People are willing to pay money for seeing their favorite bands (did U2 sell tickets for $200 or something?) I think refreshing marketing strategies like Radiohead's where you purchase their music for a low price makes the consumer happy, and creates more buzz for the album itself, and therefore concert sales will increase. Everyone thought Prince was crazy when he gave away his new album for free in London newspapers, but when he released his concert dates days later, they sold out.
So wow that was long, sorry. Basically what I'm trying to say is that music listeners are fed up with having to spend large amounts of money on music and are now finding ways digitally, whether ethical or not, to get it. My opinion is its ok to steal a song or 2 once in a while of an artist that is of fleeting interest to you ( can you say Solja Boy's "Superman") but I think I think to show my support of my favorite music by buying the music ( and shirts, and posters and...)
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