Wednesday, 2 April 2008


Radiohead's latest attack on the music indistry is to provide the source files or "stems" to their latest single "nude". I love the way that Radiohead are on top of the Web 2.0 thing and are working with it rather than trying to bury their heads in the sand. If the music industry goes open source and, perhaps more importantly, relaxes a bit in their pointless battle for control in the form of DRM, then I think there is a real potential for Web 2.0 to allow people to engage with music on a new level. Not in a passive, supplier-consumer relationship but in a more interactive and creative way. From a marketing perspective Radiohead really seem to "get" it. In Rainbows got massive coverage because it was touted as a "free" download - you were able to pay £0 to download the album (which I have to admit I did). However - the marketing worked on me - even though, in the words of Robert Palmer: I like to think that I'm immune to the stuff. Where was I? And more importantly, why am I quoting Robert Palmer? This has to be a new low. Oh yeah, marketing. What the album download did was to create a mailing list which has now been used to promote this latest venture. So, I've just found myself signing up to iTunes and forking out for these source files. Anyone who wrote off In Rainbows as a crazy stunt may be right but I've got a feeling it will come to be recognized as sort of evolutionary. It's not revolutionary because at the end of the day they are still making money off it but it is being done in a different way.

Anyway - that's all very interesting but I'm actually less interested in Radiohead's marketing strategy and more interested in this as way back into music. I've struggled with music software in the past and never really cracked it but - having got over the initial hack to get these stems from iTunes into Audacity I think this is going to be a less painless way to learn a bit about the software...

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