Thursday, December 20, 2007

Radiohead made more on InRainbows than all other albums combined

Here's a mindblower from Thom Yorke in the most recent Wired, where he talks with David Byrne about music:

In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever — in terms of anything on the Net. And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.

So InRainbows, released as a cost-optional download, made more for the band in three months than Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail To The Thief combined.

The qualifier is "in terms of digital income" of course — and Radiohead isn't on iTunes, the top-selling digital marketplace. It looks like they're on Amazon's, and I'd check Napster and eMusic, but you can't search their titles unless you're a subscriber (a design flaw for their services).

But still, wow. Three months trumping a storied 15-year catalog is pretty amazing. EMI is either doing something wrong or keeping all the money for themselves. I'd guess both.


Max said...

I had never thought about music contracts pre-digital download era. I wouldn't buy from iTunes if I knew the artist wasn't actually making any money from the sales. Otherwise, what's the point in being "legal?"

rob getzschman said...

Good point. If the artist's making no money, I can't feel much remorse about file sharing.

Home recording is killing music!

Tony Chai said...

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Tony Chai
Options Trading Blog