EMI & Radiohead: “Sticking It” to The Fans?

Yesterday’s entry was about the news of a majority of fans deciding that the right price for Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want experiment was zero, although now the band is disputing those figures.

So, if zero is sublime for fans, what’s ridiculous? A poster to Wired’s Listening Post music blog the other day got it right: “wow, an idea that comes so very close to being good!”

The reaction was to the announcement by Radiohead’s (ahem, FORMER) label EMI, which, announced in an innovative “digital box set” approach to all six of the English band’s releases on its subsidiary Parlophone: Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail To The Thief, plus the live album I Might Be Wrong.

So far, so good. Making a little hay while the sun breaks out over the In Rainbows hoopla. The words of Wired pick it up from here:

Unlike the digital version of In Rainbows, this box set has several high fixed prices depending on which format you choose: downloadable MP3 (320 Kbps, $70), a CD box set ( 7 discs, $80), or a 4GB USB drive (WAV files and artwork, $160). It’s odd that the CD box set costs half as much as the USB version, despite containing the exact same musical data.

“Odd” is putting it mildly. The fans are not amused:

$160 for a USB stick with music on it? Is that some kind of joke? A USB with a band’s entire back-catalogue: awesome idea, step in the right direction. That price is beyond insulting, though.

Yet another reason why the record industry resembles the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight…


  1. theproprietor said:

    Backers of the non-existent group, RODEOHEAD™, are making merchandise bearing its logo available to people who think they might possibly become fans at some point in the future.

    According to recentnews reports, most fans of Radiohead paid the group nothing for the music they downloaded. Those behind RODEOHEAD™ say they can’t afford such a result.

    “Because the band hasn’t formed yet, hasn’t gone on tour and probably will never take shape, we must rely upon future fans to purchase RODEOHEAD™ merchandise online,” a spokesman said. “That’s why we’re giving fans the option of paying us whatever they think the merchandise is worth as long as they meet our initial asking price.”

    To shop for RODEOHEAD™ merchandise, click here.

    10 November 2007

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.