Radiohead Breaks New Ground

This was too interesting for me to not post about it. I just found out that Radiohead is breaking new ground in the world of music releases. Granted, I’m not the biggest fan of Radiohead, and certainly won’t be spending my money on their latest release, but the concept is still pretty ingenious.

Radiohead will be releasing their latest album in two formats. That, in itself, is not that big of a deal. However, the method in which they are releasing their latest album is revolutionary. Billboard reports that Radiohead’s newest album will be available digitally at whatever price the consumer feels like paying. Will they make any money this way? Possibly, but not likely. However, the band is really banking on the concept that fans will actually want to purchase the physical release of the album.

Radiohead is calling the physical release a “discbox”. What that includes is the following: the album on compact disc, a double-vinyl version of the album, a bonus CD and loads of extra photos and things. The whole package is said to be coming in hardcover book/slipcase format.

The question is, though, even if fans do want to purchase the “discbox”, how many are going to be willing to pay the hefty $80 (actually, 40 GBP, which converts to a little over $80 USD) price for the new release? I guess only time will tell.

Things have come a long way from the days when Public Enemy released the first “exclusively digital” album (which, of course, eventually came out on CD). However, one thing remains unchanged: revolutionary groups are still getting frustrated and fed up with the way large record labels are handling the distribution of their music, and they are continuously finding new and innovative ways to release their music.

You can pre-order the discbox on Radiohead’s Web site, now. The nice thing is, if you order the discbox, Radiohead will also allow you to download the album for free. So, if you can’t wait for the discbox to arrive, you can at least listen to the album.

I first read about this new marketing venture on the TechDirt blog.

Tech Tags: HTMLCenter

One Response

  • More power to Radiohead! By the way, I’ve co-founded a site called SongSlide that lets any independent band sign up for free and let their fans pick the price for their music. Sorry to self-promote here, but it’s too dead-on to pass up. If you’re interested, you can check it out at