The day the music industry died

The title of this post is the same as that of an article by Robert Sandall in The Sunday Times (no, not the one in NYC). Although, as a reader comments, it’s old news, Radiohead has freshened it up a little.

The article is rather quotable. Here goes:

  • Currently out of contract and thus entitled to dispose of their recordings as they see fit, one of the most popular bands in the world had decided to let the fans decide how much their latest album was worth.
  • Records, CDs or downloads now have all become downgraded to the status of promotional tools.
  • A revealing story doing the rounds in America tells of a young rock band who decided to stop selling their CDs at gigs after they discovered that by offering their CDs for $10 they were cannibalising sales of their $20 T-shirts.
  • This upending of the music business was neatly predicted back in the 1990s by the guitarist of the American hardcore band Anthrax who described their new album as “the menu; our concert is the meal”.
  • Radiohead… have mixed feelings about live work… “They probably will be playing some dates next year,” a spokesman said last week. “But Thom Yorke doesn’t like touring much.”