It’s been an interesting week in the world of high-profile musicians and record labels. In case you haven’t heard, a handful of artists have decided to dump their record label and go it alone. Radiohead was the first, deciding to release their latest album sans third party record label, and offered a digital download directly from their website. The coolest part? You decide how much you want to pay. I paid four pounds(about eight dollars) for mine. I normally wouldn’t voluntarily pay this much for an mp3 download, especially for a relatively low-quality bitrate(160 Kbps), no album art, etc., but I’ve gotta give props to Thom and the crew for taking such a leap.
Other artists have begun to follow suit, including:
- Nine Inch Nails
These artists have yet to report how they plan on distributing their music. I’m definitely anxious to see what unfolds. The only bad thing about the route that Radiohead took is that it will likely overshadow the actual quality of the album, albeit a trivial point considering.
I’ve come to loathe music with DRM – that’s Digital Rights Management; follow the link for more info about what it is, and why it seriously sucks. In short, it’s basically a way to prevent digital media – music in this case – from being copied without the distributor’s consent. It makes it a real pain in the ass for people who simply want to easily transfer music they already own to other devices like mp3 players or other computers in the house. There seems to be more and more action around DRM lately, such as the new Amazon DRM-free mp3 downloads store. I still think 1$ for a song(iTunes) is too much, but if it were DRM-free, I may re-consider.
I’m anxious to see what unfolds ff big artists continue this trend of dropping their record labels. Will Radiohead divulge sales numbers? If they’re successful, would it be simply because they were the first? If this continues, will there be a simple, cheap and scalable platform for future artists who wish to distribute digital music?