Radiohead Social Media and Nude Marketing

It seems that Radiohead and the Internet are now the best of friends. After the successful release of ‘In Rainbows‘ as a discretionary payment download, the band have now set up their own social networking site and released a new single in ‘stem’ format…
(from Digital Music)

Riding The Singularity

The idea of providing tracks for the public to remix is nothing new; in fact, there’s an entire site devoted to remix competitions over at Artists who have previously released remixable tracks include Nine Inch Nails, Manu Chao, and Brian Eno/David Byrne, who offer 24-track recordings of two songs from My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts for download on their site.

However, as a departure from the free download option of In Rainbows, Radiohead have avoided the freebie approach for the Nude remix components. The ‘stems’ of the song are available to buy on their remix site (well, actually via iTunes). Stems are the individual components of the track; a separate audio file for bass, voice, guitar, strings/FX and drums.

Once you have these, you can remix them and submit your finished reworkings to the Radiohead site (if you so choose). There will be a public vote for the best remixes, which the band will then listen to. There doesn’t seem to be any other prize on offer, but I’m sure many Radiohead fans would be happy just to get a complimentary email from the guys. I think the decision to not give the stems away for free makes sense here – this format is targeting ‘true fans‘ who would be prepared to pay for ‘exclusive’ material like this.

Sing When You’re Ninging

In an attempt to capitalise on the Web 2.0 wave, as well as the significant media momentum of their recent releases, Radiohead have set up their own social networking site at Waste Central.

This is yet another canny move from the band (or whoever it is that acts as their media and marketing advisor). The site is based on the Ning platform, and as such requires little technical or creative investment to get it up and running. Ning is a sort of ‘social network of social networks’, in that anyone can set up their own social network in a matter of minutes. It’s designed to be usable by people with little expertise in the area of Web design, so the Radiohead gang are really risking nothing in launching waste central. If it proves to be a success, it will be an invaluable marketing and promotion platform; if it doesn’t, they haven’t lost anything.


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