I know I said I wouldn’t join in and talk about Radiohead – sorry!

But this piece in Billboard is more about the changing release structure that allows bands, who don’t have a record deal and who have a community of fans that trust their creative chops, to go straight to them with a new record.

They can put it on sale without anyone knowing what it’ll be like – because they trust the band.

And Radiohead fans are the most like this, as far as I can see.

Direct to fan doesn’t replace the old model, but can run alongside it and even pre-empt it.

The new music business model axiom says access over ownership…except in this case. If you want Radiohead’s “The King of Limbs” you’ll have to legally or illegally download it. None of the subscription services, from Spotify to MOG, will have the album until its commercial release on March 29.

This is a hint of things to come. Over time more artists will decide to self-release music in this fashion, thus creating long, staggered release windows that place serious fans first and more casual fans further back in line. Traditional retail must wait in line, too. That means service companies that provide the tools and expertise for the online self-release of albums will benefit from this self-release strategy while the second wave of consumers are left to retailers.

Read the Billboard piece here.

And, you might have seen this already!

 

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