pay-what-you-want price scheme in October, and then calling on fans to create a music video for any of the album's songs in March. Now the band is at it again, teaming with Apple, makers of iTunes and GarageBand, to launch a public remix contest.Rock band Radiohead has already pushed the envelope in the past year by first releasing their new album under a
The contest offers up the single "Nude" from the album for remix. The band has for sale on iTunes "stems" for the bass, voice, guitar, strings/fx and drums for the song and anyone who purchases all five gets access to a GarageBand file that can be opened in GarageBand or Logic.
Until May 1st, the public can vote for their favorite remix, and remix authors can use a MySpace or Facebook widget to allow fans on social networks to vote for them. The prize, though, is just that Radiohead promises to "listen to the best."
So interesting idea, but like the rest of Radiohead's innovative marketing techniques, this one also feels a bit gimmicky. Requiring entrants to purchase the source files, and then offering as a prize only that the band will listen to the winning entries is somewhat lame in our book. Still, the site has already collected 142 remixes, so some great new music could come out of this for Radiohead fans.
Further, Radiohead has perhaps inspired many other mainstream musical acts to take the plunge and embrace alternative methods of distribution. Nine Inch Nails released an album via BitTorrent, REM open sourced their music videos and streamed their new album on iLike, and Pennywise put their album on MySpace. We may be able to credit Radiohead with making distribution experimentation cool, which can only mean a win for consumers in the long run.
Image credit: Steve Rhodes