The TimesOnline had an article in the Sunday Times titled "The Day The Music Industry Died" that along with several similar articles has hit the Internet by storm. The article proclaims that the music industry is practically finished based on major bands Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails making drastic moves to "go-it-alone" from the music labels. These two bands will now control their own destiny and really their own business. These bands really are the beginning of the new music industry!
TOMORROW RADIOHEAD WILL SELL THEIR OWN MUSIC AND LET FANS NAME THEIR PRICE
What's the big deal? Well the popular band Radiohead let their "record" contract expire and is letting the fans decide how much they want to pay the band for their music. Beginning tomorrow, you can download their songs right from Radiohead's website
and name your price for the songs. Here's a screen-shot from their website:
No Record company to do the marketing, packaging, or contract with Apple or Amazon, RIAA or DRM wrapper - just the music.
MORE MUSIC ARTISTS MAKING SIMILAR MOVES AWAY FROM MUSIC LABELS
If you think this is just a one-band stunt, lets discuss the latest music artists making similar moves away from the old music industry guard:
Nine Inch Nails. Just yesterday, Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails put this up on their site:
Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the
following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally
free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have
been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the
business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very
different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a
direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate.
Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.
Exciting times, indeed.
Both Oasis and Jamiroquai, two other very popular bands currently without a record contract are rumored to be considering moves similar to Radiohead's.
The Charlatans are giving away free downloads of their new album and single if you visit the radio station of XFM.
Prince gave away CD's of his new album with every delivery of The Mail on Sunday newspaper in the UK earlier this year.
It's only a matter of time (not much time) before every music artist realizes how irrelevant the current music industry has become. Once famous, music artists don't need a contract. Instead, they can make their own deals with Apple and Amazon. They can sell their music on their own sites or even give away music as loss leaders for concerts, fan paraphernalia, extras etc.
What about new artists trying to break through and be discovered? They don't need a major music company contract. They need Internet exposure and once they get traction they'll be on their way to selling music and concerts. It will likely make the biggest bands have to work a little harder to stay on top because they will earn what they keep. But it will also make it a little easier for a newer up-and-coming artist to break through and be noticed. I dare say it might even improve the talent pool and hopefully the music that plays on the radio and television.
It's difficult to mention the major earthquake in the music industry going on right now without noticing the RIAA's misguided legal escapades. The RIAA has been going on a lawsuit spree to sue individuals for damages. In doing so, they have put the worst possible face on the music industry and instead of discouraging music sharing, instead created a disdain for the very industry they sought to protect. Now, the music industry will discover they are fighting for their livelihood to even keep the artists they supposedly were trying to protect and whom they were profiting from to stay in long-term music contracts that all of the sudden don't look so attractive to the music makers any more.