Hear that sound / the hammers pound and pound

And the world jumps ahead, just a lit­tle bit more, this morn­ing. Radio­head, of course, dis­missed the count­down site lead­ing to their new album in the last day or so, but rather con­ve­nient­ly (and co-inci­den­tal­ly?) it gave them a fair­ly large bump in pub­lic­i­ty lead­ing to today’s announce­ment of their new album.

Of course, this news is gonna be every­where lat­er today, but the thing is, like the Ama­zon site, Radio­head have con­verged the dig­i­tal and the tac­tile worlds togeth­er. Their new album is avail­able on their site from the 10th of the month – and you pay what you want. The stam­pede is pre­dictable. Radio­head fans are obses­sive. The thing is, the ter­res­tri­al ver­sion is not out until Decem­ber and then with fan­cy pack­ag­ing and a bonus disc.  So every­one wins, the fans and the artist, and every­one thinks Radio­head are well cool – and I agree.

Whilst the big record com­pa­nies wan­der around form­less­ly won­der­ing how it should be done, and suing their cus­tomers (could any com­mer­cial organ­i­sa­tion be per­ceived any more neg­a­tive­ly than RIAA, or those it rep­re­sents?), Radio­head, who are now label-free, have shown how it could be done (not should – …those pos­si­bil­i­ties are too wide, to make that much of a defin­i­tive state­ment) by using the dig­i­tal world to pull every­thing along. Who cares if they make zip out of the down­loads in the very short term, look at the big­ger pic­ture, and watch it roll out.

I tried to sug­gest a sim­i­lar thing a while back, releas­ing a sin­gle on Limewire and Soulseek. Blank stares mov­ing towards clear hos­til­i­ty was the result. Giv­ing a lead sin­gle away in large quan­ti­ties adds to your long term cur­ren­cy, not detracts.

Ok, that’ll do….

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