The rants of a constantly ticking mind, combined with a mess of reviews and obscure titling methods.

Friday, October 12, 2007

'Kicking, Screaming, Gucci little piggy'...

A button (read: badge) manufacturing company in the US has supposedly spent $1000 on Radiohead's new album 'In Rainbows' "in support of Radiohead's "silent" effort to revolutionize the music industry."

(the press release about it is here:

However, on the face of it, they actually spent £99.99 on the digital download and £400 on 10 copies of the limited edition 'Discbox' containing lots of goodies and stuff.

Here is the comment I made on their site, which is likely to be excluded from their moderated commenting system, so just in case I thought I would share with you:

'OK - a few things:

1) What has your 'offer of goodwill' got to do with buttons? (or badges)

2) Why are you supporting digital downloads when your web site features badges stating 'f*ck the whales, save the CD!'

3) The third paragraph of your press statement (the one beginning 'Entertainment on the whole is invaluable') is a totally preposterous statement - you are claiming that without a change in the entertainment industry there would be NO entertainment. You obviously fail to comprehend that since the dawn of man there has been forms of entertainment and nothing can take that away (except 'entertainment' itself). The world of 'entertainment' as you put it is less than 200 years old - records over 130, radio over 100, the walkman just over 30, so what exactly makes you think that these things in themselves make entertainment? What exactly makes you think that the record companies have a say over our lives?

4) Your actions are not helping anybody - in fact, you've only proved to many that in your eyes it's all a gimmick and a bandwagon that must be jumped on for the benefit of no-one apart from the 10 lucky punters who'll get the discboxes which will only go up in value. A good businessman should always be able to see the profit in any action - as this gesture is in no way going to profit you selling buttons, it most definitely will profit you in the long term with their resale value - it is, after all, a very limited item.

5) The discboxes are custom made and cost money to produce for the band, and so as such their is less profit to be made in them than the digital downloads. So why on earth did you not give your $1000 for downloads rather than $200? Surely if this was a true gesture and to your word, you would have bought only the download - unless, of course, statement 4 was true. In which case, it was not a gesture, but a means to profiting yourselves.

6) Radiohead still have a recording contract with Parlophone, part of EMI (one of the big 4 record companies) They are highly regarded for their 'screw the system' artistic approach to marketing, but at the end of the day, they wouldn't exist to this great a degree without the record company giving them the cash at the start to make their early records. All that this 'stunt' does is do a free online promo, just like many other bands have done - except, of course, that they have made money from it rather than having to spend any. This is very good for the record company, at the end of the day.'

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Blogger Troy said...

I don't think that was their intentions at all. You miss construed the point they were trying to make. This is a link to a digg post that has a write up from a newspaper, where the guy interviews the company.

It's all about love for music.

11:45 am

Blogger The MooseBlaster said...

...except it's not.

Because, even if 10,000 people only paid 1 penny, that would still mean $200 in their pocket which is given by people who wouldn't have bought the album normally.

To me, it's incredibly good business rather than 'sticking it to the man' - this kind of thing would only work for a band with enough promotional cash to spend - of which many bands do not. Radiohead really, REALLY are not taking a risk with this - as they have got hundreds of thousands of people to pay for something instead and possibly turning them into fans, of which many may not have previously. They are getting people to pay for free promos which in my mind is totally ingenious.

And... as I said, Purebuttons has not bought 10 box sets for the sake of it - if they truly did this for 'the music' they would have only bought downloads - all they've essentially done is bought an album online instead of going to the shop.

4:37 pm


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