Radiohead and other songs

hingo's picture

I didn't blog about it, but I'm sure you read it in all the other blogs, that the band Radiohead did a revolutionary thing in October of 2007. They released their new album for download on the Internet. Fans were able to pay a price they could determine themselves. This is great news for those of us who believe the old and stagnated recording industry has got it all wrong. We need people like the Radiohead guys to prove them wrong.

Of course there was still one question I was interested in: So did they actually make any money out of it, or are all those internet users just a bunch of freeloaders (like some would want to believe)? Lucky for me, Wired was interested in exactly the same question and did an interview.

So guess what? During the first month alone they netted 3 million $$$! Of course the dollar is weak and you got to share it with the rest of the band but still. And what's best, they don't have to share with any record companies or retailers, this was money directly to the artist.

The article doesn't say, but I read between the lines that the band doesn't get much from record sales in a usual record label contract:

Byrne: Do you know, more or less, where your income comes from? For me, it's probably very little from actual music or record sales. I make a little bit on touring and probably the most from licensing stuff. Not for commercials — I license to films and television shows and that sort of thing.
Yorke: Right. We make some doing that.
...
Well, first and foremost, you don't sign a huge record contract that strips you of all your digital rights, so that when you do sell something on iTunes you get absolutely zero.

Can you believe it? So if you do the right thing and buy some un-DRM:d mp3's from iTunes, chances are the actual artist gets nothing! ... I once saw on Finnish TV a study on how revenues from a sold record are splitted. Taxes are 22%, retailer takes 25%, record label 25%, studio costs 12%, etc... and artist gets about 4%! And this was in the middle when all those copyright lobbyists were crying that pirated downloads are taking bread from the musicians table!

Well, I hope this move from Radiohead has now finally proven what we have known for the last 10 years or so, and an avalanche of followers will publish their music directly to the net in 2008!

***

In personal news it's also about music:

Now I've learned why you sing lullabies to babies - because it actually works to keep the baby quiet and just possible fall asleep (they always do, eventually). I have just one problem though, I'm bad at remembering lyrics. Humming would work too but it bothers me that I'm sort of responsible for teaching him the Swedish language, so I'd like to sing with actual words.

In the middle of some dark (but not at all cold) night I did eventually find myself singing some songs I do remember the lyrics of. The first one goes like: "Nana-naa-naa, Nana-naa-naa, hee-eey, FF Jaro! (repeat)". The other one I know most of the lyrics to is (in the best spirit of a true Friends fan :-) an inappropriate rap song, "Alla som inte dansar". They both work as a charm - however, after a couple hours intense dancing with carrying a 4,5 kg weight, the boy is sound asleep, but I'm not!

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