Two quick notes on the radiohead post:
- I forgot to mention that as part of the purchase process (buried in the terms of service, no opt-out possible!) you give Radiohead the right to email you. Being smart, I doubt they’ll abuse it much, but that is a cost to you which you may want to factor in to your purchase price.
- NIN has announced they too are going label-free. At this point, a major band going it alone no longer gets to count as surprising or interesting. What is interesting next is how long it will be before we see a band become ‘major’ without ever signing to a label first. (Relatedly, of course, it will be interesting to see what being ‘major’ means in a post-CD age- mega-million dollar tours? mega-million downloads? Something else altogether?)
12 thoughts on “two addendums to the radiohead post”
That article mention Enter Shikari who seem to be doing ok without ever signing, and I’m sure there are more bands coming
Great article over all and I like the Anthrax guitarist that described their new album as “the menu; our concert is the meal” a long time ago.
In a cursory look around, I couldn’t find this information, so I figured I’d ask you — do you know in what format the download tracks are being made available?
Ian: I haven’t seen it, unfortunately, but in the past they’ve made some downloads available as 256kbit mp3s, and I’ve seen assertions that they won’t be DRM’d. We’ll see, I guess.
Enter Shikari set up their own label “with assistance from a distributor”, but they’ve decided they need to sign to a major label to break america. They’ve signed up to Tiny Evil Records which is run by Interscope which in turn in part of Universal which “is the largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry.”
“What is interesting next is how long it will be before we see a band become ‘major’ without ever signing to a label first.”
Does Dispatch qualify? I’d say they already did this. Although they are no longer together as a band.
Jon: wikipedia suggests that all their albums were published by a label, so no, they don’t count, unless I’m missing something.
In the UK of late many bands have made bids for illustrious titles such as “first non signed band in the charts”, and this has been made possible due by 2 things
a) MP3 downloads being counted towards chart position
b) places like iTunes selling anyone’s music.
And occasionally they do have some one off success, but you look deeper and you find that they’ve almost always coughed up 20grand to a PR company to drive a massive publicity campaign (which sometimes can be a bit shit – one band cashed in on the death of a father to ask that people download their song so they can be in the charts the weekend of his funeral…) But once the money runs out, the PR campaign disappears and they drop down to obscurity once again.
It appears to me that these people are stuck in the same mentality as the major labels and only in it for the short haul…get one big selling album and make it big and either coast on the royalties or make another couple of medicore ones and hope enough people buy them until dropping to obscurity. Which I think is one of the current problems with the big labels, they’re out to find bands that can make them the most amount of money in the shortest time possible so they jump on the bandwagon and release as many imitations of the flavour of the day, and dump them again once the bandwagon changes. (insert this is killing music rant) I think I’d go as far to suggest that if the labels had this attitude in 91/92 when they signed Radiohead, they’d have been dropped after Pablo Honey…
The advantage of the internet and that we can remove the need for big labels isn’t that any band can make it big, but that people can be made bigger than they currently are. And smaller people can get a bigger audience and hone their craft and make better music than anything the labels would pick up.
I don’t think we’ll see any new “major” label-free artist for a long time to come.
I guess it all depends on what you mean by major though…major in terms of sales/money, importance to music in general or in terms of influence?
(you know you need to stop making music related blog posts or I’m just going to go on and on and on and on…)
I think I’d be OK with influence; to be influential you generally have to be heard (though of course you could be the Velvet Underground.)
And you’re welcome to ramble here; I find most of it very interesting. If I didn’t, I’d stop posting about music. :)
Sr. Peters: 160kb mp3s.
I guess I would have liked to have them at a higher bit rate (would transcoding to ogg maybe palatable) but I’m not really an audiophile so really I don’t care that much that they aren’t higher bit rate.
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