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The Real Value of Music

David Byrne and Thom Yorke

Wired has some great articles on music in the current issue. Mike King already posted on David Byrne’s music models, ground that has been covered here and in the Future of Music book.

But Byrne also did an interview with Thom Yorke from Radiohead about the In Rainbows experiment and his views on the music biz. Here’s an excerpt:

“Byrne: What about bands that are just getting started?

Yorke: Well, first and foremost, you don’t sign a huge record contract that strips you of all your digital rights, so that when you do sell something on iTunes you get absolutely zero. That would be the first priority. If you’re an emerging artist, it must be frightening at the moment. Then again, I don’t see a downside at all to big record companies not having access to new artists, because they have no idea what to do with them now anyway.

Byrne: Are you making money on the download of In Rainbows?

Yorke: In terms of digital income, we’ve made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever — in terms of anything on the Net. And that’s nuts. It’s partly due to the fact that EMI wasn’t giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.”

Pretty interesting interview.

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4 replies
  1. Mewzikbiznis says:

    So long as labels treat music like product, not art, they will fail to fully embrace (OK, exploit) its value. Two concepts working against majors are 1) if you want to know what the customer values, ask them! and 2) there is no shortage of supply – hundreds of thousands of songs are written every year – a virtual wellspring of content. Tunnel vision is not an attribute 😉 And, wouldn’t it be swell if Radio completed the circle by actually publishing the real numbers? That would be the most progressive and defining next step.

  2. Mewzikbiznis says:

    So long as labels treat music like product, not art, they will fail to fully embrace (OK, exploit) its value. Two concepts working against majors are 1) if you want to know what the customer values, ask them! and 2) there is no shortage of supply – hundreds of thousands of songs are written every year – a virtual wellspring of content. Tunnel vision is not an attribute 😉 And, wouldn’t it be swell if Radio completed the circle by actually publishing the real numbers? That would be the most progressive and defining next step.

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