Minds were collectively blown last night when Radiohead confirmed that their forthcoming album In Rainbows is out 10/10(!), at which point fans can grab it digitally and DRM-free at a price of their choosing. The question then became: “What other record-release-model rules can Radiohead fuck with?” The band’s PR company sent out a first-person missive on just that point:
There will be no advances, promotional copies, digital streams, media sites, etc. of RADIOHEAD’s In Rainbows.
Everyone in the world will be getting the music at the same time: Oct. 10. That includes us. We don’t have anything to play anyone in the nine days until the record is available. Everyone at nasty has put his or her order in and just to clarify: you are not being asked to pay for a promo (as some have inquired). you can pay nothing or as much or as little as you want.
There will be no promotional copies of the discbox either, as each discbox is being made to order. Sorry.
Looks like In Rainbows will be the great equalizer: no advance copies, so probably no leaks — just a world full of Radioheadheads pressing play on the same day. Meanwhile, another press mailing this morning mentioned “Radiohead are planning a traditional CD release of In Rainbows for early 2008.” So, really, we’ve got a band-sanctioned album leak complete with tip jar, a deluxe package, and the eventual record-store release of the album. It’s a nice way of challenging the traditional model, of embracing the way people get their music, and of framing a host of new issues and alternatives for industry wonks to debate and consider for a long time to come.