Radiohead have often been celebrated for the innovative nature of their music, but 2007 was the year they turned traditional music industry business models on their head too. How? By self-releasing their ‘In Rainbows’ album as a digital download, for which fans could choose their own price.
The band have since been at pains to stress that while this method worked for them, they’re not advocating that it’ll work for all artists. Indeed, they’ve faced some criticism from within the industry for going it alone, with the argument that smaller bands couldn’t do the same thing.
Still, I think ‘In Rainbows’ proved something positive: that given the choice to pay almost nothing for an album, real fans will still stump up a decent amount of cash. And all those people who grabbed the album for the 45p admin fee? Well, they might go to a Radiohead gig or buy the next one, so nobody’s lost out.
Check our other 2007 In Review posts by clicking here