This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
UPDATE: This blog has been retired as of August 2011. See this post for more information or connect with me on Twitter.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Radiohead decides to "be about it"
I am known to drop the quote "Don't talk about it, be about it" from time-to-time. Usually, I do it to annoy someone who says they are thinking about trying/doing something (when you suspect that they really won't do it).

Recently, there have been a lot of major recording artists who have talked about leaving their record label and releasing their music directly to fans. Most recently, NIN and Madonna announced that they would be releasing new music sans record company. And, to be fair, Prince, Pearl Jam and others have used a direct-to-fans model for the past few years.

However, Radiohead just blew the lid off the whole idea by actually doing it *and* by allowing fans to name their price for the new album.

Earlier this month, the band sent out this straightforward e-mail to fans (who weren't expecting a new Radiohead album until 2008):

"Hello everyone.
Well, the new album is finished, and it's coming out in 10 days;
We've called it In Rainbows.

Love from us all.
Jonny"


As promised, "In Rainbows" was made available yesterday (10/10) in download-only form for any price fans are willing to pay for it. I paid $7.50 for my copy. It felt really good to be able to put a price that I thought was fair and get DRM-free files that I can use in any way I want. And the fact that the album is fantastic makes it even better.

I love that Radiohead realizes that adding your music to iTunes, locking it down with DRM and still charging $10 for it isn't enough to satisfy their fans. They have kickstarted a new (better) model for music distribution and it will be interesting to see what other artists are brave enough to follow them. And as a bonus, they gave fans the album months before anyone was expecting it.

You can buy your copy of "In Rainbows" here.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.