Thursday, April 03, 2008

Radiohead Does It Again

Got an email from Radiohead's reps (probably because I bought their album In Rainbows when they were giving it away for whatever I wanted to pay for it).

The email said I could now purchase the Radiohead song Nude in chunks and mix it myself. Specifically, the email said:

For those of you who enjoy this sort of thing, you can buy the separate components or 'stems' (bass, voice, guitar, strings/FX and drums) and remix your own version of the song. You can do this by adding your own beats and instrumentation or just remixing the original parts. More information here, and buy the stems here.

You can upload your finished mixes
here and be judged and even voted on by 'the public.' You can also create a widget allowing votes from your own Web site, Facebook or MySpace page to be sent through too.

What a great idea. Reminds me of how Neil Peart has made some of his raw drum parts available on his site, without any backing parts.


Ned said... Radiohead gives away their album and subsequent remixes for free but charges for each component of the "nude" remix tracks. Let's stick with a theme here guys...Radiohead is trying to be a pioneer, a leader...right? Stay on message.

harmolodic said...

Ned -- Radiohead offered their album as a "pay what you want" download, which was widely interpreted as "giving it away." It was indeed for sale the whole time, and that offer is already over. It was all marketing, and for them, it apparently worked.

The remix offer is an extension of that -- now that they have people's attention, they're offering something else for sale. And just like with the initial "pay what you want" sale (Juliana Hatfield tried it with success in '04), they're not the first to do this, just one of the highest profile acts to do it. Nine Inch Nails has also made elements of songs available to fans for remixing in the past, and Paul McCartney had a remix contest of sorts tied in to his 'Chaos and Creation in the Backyard' album (the results of which I never did see, but it was fun messing around with the tracks).

The theme, as I see it here, is creative marketing. Not necessarily 'firsts,' but breaking from an old established system, and taking creative ideas and proving them effective. Who else might try it next in Radiohead's wake? So yes, they are leaders.