Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Taking the "Radiohead Revolution" to the Publishing Industry

So Radiohead has apparently started a revolution in the music industry by releasing their next album on the Internet for free. They're requesting that their audience make donations, essentially, as appropriately as they're worth. Sometime in the future they'll be releasing an expensive edition of the album on two CDs and on vinyl then later, they'll release a single CD, I believe. I haven't kept completely up to date on it.

Sounds like the Freeware or Shareware models for the music industry. To some degree, Radiohead has embodied one possibility that I had dreamed up for the music industry, using recordings as promotional tools then try making the money at concerts through ticket sales and merchandise.

Check out some conversation on the Radiohead side of things going on at Uninflected Images Juxtaposed and The Duct Tape Marketing Blog.

At least two other artists have taken their own business actions that could be considered based on the Radiohead move. Nine Inch Nails has quit their record label. Madonna has also left her record label (I believe) but has signed some kind of deal with a concert promoter.

The guy at The Duct Tape Marketing Blog has asked his audience if they had ever pulled off anything huge and revolutionary like this for their industry.

Me, I want to know if anyone can come up with some kind of viable model that could distribute printed content like how Radiohead is releasing their new album. . .and have it distributed in a way that wouldn't screw the content producer. I don't really want to get too deep into how people prefer to read their content (I'm majorly a proponent for reading books rather than reading on the Internet but after reading a book that had been previously published but is no longer copyrighted, I'd be interested in looking for other options, like reading on a Palm Pilot or something bigger for ease of reading that wouldn't heat up like a laptop), but if that really does enter into the equation of content distribution, don't hesitate to bring it up.

So who's up to the challenge on this one?

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