Oct 4, 2007

[Music] Radiohead's Priceless New Album

The web is pretty much ablaze with chatter about the newest album from currently independent artists, Radiohead. It's not just because they're releasing In Rainbows, their new album or because they've chosen to market their music online as a digital download or as a Discbox to be mailed to you directly. Hardly that - that's old school stuff by now.

Whats more striking is what happens when you try to order the album:

Radiohead Checkout

No, it's not a fake image or anything like that. That's exactly what it looks like when you visit the site. The price for the new album is a text field where you can type in whatever amount you want.

Yes, 0.00 is considered a valid number in the world of whole and decimal numbers. Elementary, my dear Watson.

If you click the red question mark beside the price field, you'll be brought to this even more striking message:

Radiohead: It's Up to You

Go on, click the red question mark one more time if you still don't believe it. Then you get this:

No, Really, It's Up to You

And with these simple lines, Radiohead is trying to change the way music is managed by giving The Finger to the music industry. It's not like they're really just giving away their music entirely - as a consumer you still have the option to decide on what value you'd assign to the music being offered.

Will people pay? I'm sure some will, out of love for the bad and perhaps out of appreciation for this strong statement. Who knows what other artists might try to follow suit after a band as large as Radiohead in terms of something like this. It's an experiment that's practically unthinkable for the music industry today, struggling against a world full of willing pirates.

My hats off to you, Radiohead! Give it to the Man! And of course the inevitable question of how much I chose to value their music?

Um, no comment for now, hehe.

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