First Prince, Now Radiohead

Mark wonders what I think about Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows — not the recording itself, but the business model: “Self-released w/out a label! Discbox which includes vinyl! Downloadable for… whatever you want to pay! Interesting…”

Very much so — and it confirms the kinds of claim that many people have been making for a long time. You prosper in the digital environment by giving away what the internet makes easy and by charging for what the internet doesn’t facilitate (personal appearances, physical artifacts like packaging, clothing, books, and so on). It’s that simple, but some people and some corporate entities want to force the internet to conform to the properties and characteristics of a pre-digital environment. In the long run, they’ll be as successful as the dinosaurs who commanded mammals to respond the the ice age by voluntary mass extinction. Now, if you’ll pardon me, our car is running low on gas, so I have to go to the leather goods store to get a new buggy-whip.

Whoops, Metalepsis sent me a notice pointing to Radiohead, too (my mail client identified his message as spam, which it assuredly was not. Sorry to have missed you, M.)

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