June 1, 2009
Not really a model ... yet
Just read Mike Masnick's take on U2 manager Paul McGuinness's rather tiresome whinge about the online music environment. I generally agree with Mike but I wanted to pick up on one thing he said that I think is misleading.
Mike quotes McGuiness as saying "Radiohead is 'seeking' a new model... ignoring that they found one and that it worked amazingly well, without requiring an ISP tax. I'm wondering if he's simply ignorant of Trent Reznor's wide-ranging experiments."
I don't know that you can fairly call Radiohead's experiment any more than an experiment, as Reznor's have been. It certainly doesn't constitute a model. To constitute a "business model" it needs to work in pretty much the same way with pretty much the same results for pretty much anyone in similar circumstances. Reznor's experiments have produced some wildly disparate results, often unexpectedly, and I don't know of anyone else getting the kind of result Radiohead got.
Although Radiohead showed that there is promise in some of the the techniques and approaches they used, I'm not sure we really understand what happened, let alone how to make it happen again, if it ever can. Much more needs to be done before any of this can be called a "business model".
Mind you ... I think McGuinness is revealing his ignorance and self-interest and I hope for the sake of people who believe in U2's good works that he shuts up before he completely undermines U2's ethical credentials.Posted by Hughie at June 1, 2009 2:10 PM