No doubt by now Radiohead’s well-telegraphed decision to release their new album on their own, via the web, has reached above indie-rock channel-consciousness, if to be inferred by the New York Times’ placement of the story (if only via blog) on a front-page link today.
First of all, didn’t Prince do this already? Maybe with some strings attached, if I recall. I do understand that Itunes has been cut out of the Radiohead deal, which I’ll agree is a novel decision, or at least a slightly brave one. I also do hope Radiohead has the idea of selling their methods via a guide detailing their experiences and successes. If only to add a nail to the major labels’ coffin.
The next fun step is for Tarantino to release his next movie via web download. I’m not a particularly huge fan, I thought Pulp Fiction was cloyingly bad and a victim of its time, but QT might be the only one able to cut out the middle man in film, and via Kill Bill Vol whatever, and for however long. Following a short, probably lucrative opening weekend, large-screen viewings could be organized like a tour, with Tarantino introducing in person, while meanwhile the movie is offered online.
And imagine how easy it would be for a bestselling author to do this (again). Read Stephen King’s complaint in the New York Times’ Book Review this past Sunday? Ok, SK, we know you’ve tried this already, but offer up your next (real) novel via download only, no publishing or Starbucks strings attached, and here’s how you change the industry: permanently attach some short works by your favorite unknown authors to each download, and throw them a dime.
Maybe Radiohead could pick an unknown band, similarly, next album.
Just when I was beginning to hate the internet (again). Long live the egalitarian aggregate.