Karma (Police) is a Bitch
This post over on TechCrunch by the irascible Michael Arrington is one of the most succinct, clearly written pieces I’ve yet read on the inevitable future of the music business, with regards to adapting to a digital environment. The idea that overpowering economic forces will eventually kill DRM and drive the average price of downloadable music to essentially negligible prices, forcing labels and artists to explore other revenue streams, is compelling.
As Arrington cites, Radiohead, who aren’t on any record label thankyouverymuch, recently took some steps towards this brave new world by offering their latest CD for download at whatever price you want to pay (seriously) and simultaneously making it available for a hefty sum as a “collector’s edition” style release that includes physical components, like a vinyl version and high quality packaging. Only a band of their status and position could make this sort of move and of that group, only a few have ever shown any interest in changing the model.
They’ll all come around eventually, but for now, Radiohead gets it.