Ethics Coursework for Session 2013-2014
Submit by 4:00 p.m. Friday 15th Nov 2013
Subject to moderation
*Radiohead complete recording of their 7th studio album in the summer of 2007
*Having fulfilled their contract with EMI the band leaves the label
*They decide to release “In Rainbows” on October 10th 2007, initially as a downloadable album, available only from the bands official website.
*The album is not priced on the website; those proceeding to purchase the album are directed to a screen that allows a quantity and price to be entered.
*A question mark next to the pricing box opens a dialogue page with the message “IT’S UP TO YOU”
*The only other requirement is that the user leaves an e-mail address.
*A special boxed set edition of “In Rainbows” is made available from 4th Dec 2007 at a cost of £40 with an offer to ship before Christmas.
*After two months the “IT’S UP TO YOU” offer is withdrawn from Radiohead’s website.
*The band then release the album on conventional C.D. format on 1st January 2008, through deals with XL Recordings in the U.K. and TBD Records in the U.S., reaching the number one position in both countries.
*The subsequent 2008 tour saw Radiohead play to 1.2.Million fans.
Radiohead’s decision to release “In Rainbows” with its “IT’S UP TO YOU” offer may appear to be magnanimous, perhaps noble, and even suggestive of a new paradigm of ethical behaviour. However, could it also simply be regarded or interpreted as “radical-chic” posturing in an effort to gain even more publicity? Are Radiohead cynically manufacturing and manipulating their exposure both to the music industry and their fans in such a way that will eventually lead to rich rewards despite their humble or unpretentious assertions?
This certainly fuels debate on whether Radiohead have set out to make music with no apparent monetary reward in mind.