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When Old Is New Again: From Cassettes To Multicolored Vinyl

This post is syndicated from Yahoo! Music Stop the Presses!

Monetizing music ain’t what it used to be. In an age where digital music files are easily ripped, downloaded and distributed, the urge to pay for that great new album has steadfastly declined.

Alongside torrents, mixtapes, and social websites like Hype Machine, Exfm and We Are Hunted, streaming services like Rdio, Rhapsody, MOG and Spotify make music discovery easy.  It’s been reported that with an annual growth rate of nearly 95%, subscribers to cloud-based music services will exceed 161 million in 2016.

This makes it easier for an artist to share their work with the masses  – but how can the same artist pay the bills with the concept of free?

When it comes to the actual making money part, bands have no choice but to get creative. And many are doing just that – by inventing new channels and resurrecting familiar ones.

The indie-rock band Radiohead is perhaps the ultimate example of exploring new distribution opportunities in the 21st century. In 2007, they incorporated a “pay what you want” model for the album In Rainbows.

For their recent release The King Of Limbs, the band decided to offer up several options.  The album will come in two digital formats – either 320 kbps MP3s ($9) – or CD-quality, uncompressed WAV files ($14). For the super fan, the third and pricier option is a newspaper album ($48 + $53). It offers  MP3s or WAVs along with vinyl, CD, several large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-color piece of degradable plastic to hold it all together.

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