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#180720 - 10/27/07 12:47 AM Pay what you want for music
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
What's everyone think about this concept? I've seen a couple of bands do it recently.

Radiohead put out their latest album this way. You put in the price you want to pay when you download it. The site can be a little confusing, but here's the link:Radiohead InRainbows

An artist that is probably not as well known to most of you, Saul Williams, is doing something similar here.

I expect NIN to do the same with future releases, as Trent recently posted this on the NIN site:

Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is atotally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate. Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008. Exciting times, indeed.

So the question is, will this work? Will people pay for music they can get for free? If it does work, will the RIAA realize it is working and finally change their tune (no pun intended) about some of their policies. It seems a lot of the money larger artists make is from touring, so maybe they can afford to just give the music away.

I think it is a good way to get new fans. For example, I've always heard good things about Radiohead and mostly like the couple songs I've heard on the radio, but don't have any of their albums. I downloaded this one free to try them out and see if I like it. I think I'm more likely to go out and buy some of their older albums if I do.

I saw Saul Williams open for NIN and I liked some songs, others I didn't. Having the album available to try out first will definately provide more exposure though.

I just remembered another band, Harvey Danger, did this as well with their 3rd album Little by Little

For those of you that don't remember them, they had a song called Flagpole Sitta that was big around 1997. I actually have all 3 of their albums and like them all. Intelligent lyrics, but now I'm getting off topic.

Anyway, enough rambling...wanted to get everyone's thoughts on this phenomenon.

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#180721 - 10/27/07 12:57 AM Re: Pay what you want for music [Re: Zarak]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11234
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I like the idea. I would be one of the ones who would be happy to pay, and it would be a great way to try out artists I'm not familiar with.

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#180758 - 10/27/07 01:43 PM Re: Pay what you want for music [Re: CV]
duckman Offline
devotee

Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 312
Loc: kansas
I this is one of the better ideas to be hatched in the music business. I don't think it is the final version though. The bands whose music appeals more to the under 25 crowd my find the little bastards are cheap. \:o I remember as a kid I had to mow a lawn, maybe two, to buy an lp and a blank tape. I was quick to borrow an lp,or later a cd,and tape it. I outgrew that at about 20. As an adult I have more appreciation for others' efforts and a more developed sense of honor, as well as a desire for quality.
The big concern for me as a potential customer is quality- mp3's are like a tape to me, fine for everyday use but i want something good archived- like my lp's taking up all that space. If they offer a download in something GOOD, i'll seriously consider it.
The greatest potential benefit I see is relegating the record companies to marketing roles and leaving the recording and performance decisions to those with talent.
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#180759 - 10/27/07 01:49 PM Re: Pay what you want for music [Re: duckman]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
I think I've gotten cheaper as I've gotten older. When I was a kid, I didn't think much of spending $15 on a CD. That seems absurd to me now.

I'm not sure about this set your own price thing. I've heard that a lot of people are still downloading through bittorrent and the like.
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#180763 - 10/27/07 01:56 PM Re: Pay what you want for music [Re: Ken.C]
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
As far as the good quality part, I've seen some of these artists making a 160 bit rate available for free, but if you want CD quality then they charge you. I think I like this model best. You get the not quite as good quality to try it out. If you don't like it or if that is good enough for you ok. But if it is something you like, pay for it and get it at CD quality.

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