Somewhere Inside the Rainbow

30 12 2007

By Derek Beres

In the ever-evolving “battle” over the future of the music industry, many questions are being asked: Who will emerge victorious, the artist or the label? How will musicians eke out a living despite the ease of recording transfer from machine to machine across invisible networks? Is this the demise of the retail store? Will digital be the inevitable stamp of the future? What are the boundaries of organizations like the RIAA, and how much influence should they have over governmental regulations?

These are only five questions among many on the tips of industry and musician tongues. The boldest move of 2007 was certainly Radiohead’s online offering of their latest album, In Rainbows, at a choose-your-own payment rate, starting at the base price of free. Numerous people took advantage and paid nothing. Still, some have speculated that the band brought in over nine million dollars – a number that is likely inflated, although vocalist Thom Yorke stated that they’ve made more from digital sales on this recording than from all their other releases.

The Radiohead Chronicles show us that digital sales empower artists. But they raise an even more relevant point: Why are we so concerned with the fiscal status of superstars?

Read the full blog on Reality Sandwich.

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