This video features Jay Smooth of illdoctrine explaining what record labels could learn from the way Radiohead handled the release of their latest album, inrainbows. Basically the group made the set available on their website in a manner where the user could decide how much they wanted to pay, even if it was nothing. This generated great buzz for Radiohead and their album, and this is exactly the point that Jay Smooth makes about Jay-Z’s American Gangster in this video. All of the hype about the album is taking place on the Internets because someone leaked the album. Jay (not Z) feels that labels could learn a lesson about this and learn to leak their albums instead of having it happen without being part of their own marketing strategy.
Why the majors don’t get it, I’ll never know, but independents have started to understand this a lot better. For instance, that image above this text is for the release of Saul Williams’ latest release, Saul Williams Presents The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust. Williams took a page out of Radiohead’s book and released the album today on his site with the option to pay a $5 donation or to download it for free. In this instance Williams is in control of the event of selling and distributing his record, and therefore the hype about the album will be about the actual release date and not an unofficial leak.
I’m starting to think that Jay Smooth is on to something with his theory. I just hope the labels and its execs are listening.
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