Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Power to the People

I am so intrigued when I see true out-of-the-box thinking. When a company (or in this case a band) turns conventional sales and marketing on its ear and decides to go their own way.

This time it comes from Radiohead. From Yahoo News: Pay what you want for new Radiohead.

"On Monday, Radiohead sent shockwaves through the music biz with the announcement that its new album, "In Rainbows," will be released for download from on Oct. 10. The price? Whatever you choose. You elect how much to pay, be it one cent, $15 or $100. (A special edition box set with a vinyl version and other items is also available for approximately $81.)"

It's a great concept. And, talk about "Direct" Marketing! Radiohead is thinking of their fans. But, they're also thinking of themselves. Apparently, conventional music sales only garner musicians something like 10%. By going direct, and putting the power to the music buyers, they're almost certain to profit by more than 10%. And, then there's the side benefit of building fan relationships, and collecting customer data for future projects.

And, guess what? It appears that the concept is right on target. This Wired blog post quotes band spokesperson Murray Chalmers: "Although the idea is that you can decide what you want to pay, most people are deciding on a normal retail price with very few trying to buy it for a penny."

I think this is an idea whose time has come. I tip my hat to Radiohead and vow to do my best today to rethink the conventional ways that I do business.

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