Radiohead Realize People Don’t Buy Albums (CD’s) Anymore
Posted by bmac on October 1, 2007
In a break from industry tradition the UK band famous for hits including Creep, Paranoid Android and Karma Police, has told fans “it’s up to you” what they pay to digitally download the album.
There’s a big misconception that if you sell a couple million albums, you’re set for life. The truth is, artists make very little on record sales. The industry standard is 7-10% for each record. For a $16.00 cd…..$1.60. And if it’s a band, split that $1.60 4-5 ways. You could sell 2-3 million records, and make less than a plumber. This is how “Behind The Music’s” happen. Guys (or gals) sell a few million CD’s and run right out and buy a Ferrari and a mansion. Then they get their $70,000 check.
Radiohead is free to sell its album directly from its official website because it is no longer tied to a record label. So far the album is only available to pre-order from the website, where it can be downloaded on release on October 10.
The big bucks are in concert tickets, merch, and publishing. The Grateful Dead were the masters of this. They routinely made more money than most of the biggest rock stars of any given year. A couple really big hit songs don’t hurt either, songs that get played all the time. For example, Sting makes about 2 grand a day for “Every Breath You Take” from the publishing rights.
Record stores are a thing of the past, as will be record labels, downloading is the future. This is a great move by Radiohead, because they get to look magnanimous to their fans, when the reality is, if they tried to distribute and market their new album themselves, it would cost more than they would make.