Ask Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, whether the band's foray into a "pay what you want" model for music was successful and he'll tell you, as he told David Byne (Talking Heads) in this Wired interview:In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever--in terms of anything on the Net. And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.
Sounds great, except that he's comparing "more money" to "zero money." Apparently the music companies don't pay new bands (or old?) squat for digital sales (read: iTunes) of their music. I can't fathom why. I suppose because they don't have to.
But where the interview becomes useful and interesting is when Yorke talks through the relevance of this new model for new bands. Teaser: it's not.… Read more