The music industry did take something away from Radiohead's experiment, though it's not exactly what most of us were hoping for. A senior Universal VP dropped this inspired business idea at Mobile World Congress:
"If an artist has just delivered an album from studio, we could potentially deliver it to a limited number of users for a higher price. It's something we're quite keen to develop; for example, through our own B2C channels—artists' Web sites."
This is the dumbest idea ever.
For one, charging more simply to get first dibs at an album is ludicrous on principle. But more to the point (that maybe they'll heed) this model really presents two choices: Hear it early for an artificially inflated price, or do so for free, probably less than hour after it goes up. Temporality is not value added, and not all music fans are as eager to pay exorbitant prices for immediate access as some of Radiohead's cabal, so this seems like epic fail waiting to happen. Unless, god forbid, people pay up. In that case, we're all doomed. [Idolator, Moconews]