October 6, 2007

Carb counting the nightmares of the record industry

Lets face it. CDs are being phased out. There was a time when obtaining new music meant going to Harmony House or Best Buy and purchasing a CD for $11.99. A reasonable price, considering it usually averaged out to be a dollar a song. We are living in a post AOL, MIRC, Napster, Kazaa, Morpheus, Soulseek, Limewire, Poison, Aquisition, My Tunes, Our Tunes, Torrent...world. My point is obtaining new music is a daily felony for myself and millions of other Americans. Music is free, and when it isn't I'm only buying it for $2 on Allofmp3.com which is legal now. There are many loopholes when you open up the law to entail an international community.

The record industry just doesn't get the situation. They raise the prices while in a crude panic. They raise the prices and we turn to cyberspace. They shut down a torrent site and another one comes up. It has even evolved into the search for music being obsolete. Visit a blog like deb4ser and just download the latest hipster music trend all packaged into one convenient location.

But don't forget to log into the iTunes music store and buy an album or two after.

What's the next step? What formula of change will finally phase out the record industry one angry band at a time?

Radiohead reached a milestone in bringing music to the people. Their new album "In Rainbows" completely changes the music production scene. A popular, talented, innovative band like Radiohead decided to drop all record labels and produce their album on their own. They are asking their fans how much they are willing to pay for their new album. Then on release date it will be available to download. All they need is a domain name on the web and a dyer need for change.

Radiohead isn't the first to conquer the hold the record label has on them. Harvey Danger released their most recent album as a free Torrent download. Their Reason. After you’ve downloaded the album, you can choose to buy the CD online or make a contribution via PayPal or snail mail. Why wouldn't a band with the funds to produce their own album adopt this business model? By cutting out the label their earnings are theirs and not the suits that manage them. Are we witnessing the origin of a creative management revolution?

Here's the thing, with Radiohead's experiement, their fans are generously rewarding their actions by paying more than a record label would ask for.


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