Leave it up to Radiohead to find every new distribution method possible for their latest effort “In Rainbows.” This time the band has teamed up with Last.fm to offer the album in its entirety for free, ad-supported, on-demand streaming.
“In Rainbows” can be accessed on Last.fm here. Already nearly 1.5 million listeners have streamed the album.
Radiohead is a popular band on Last.fm. Its songs have been “scrobbled” more than 108 million times.
When Radiohead introduced “In Rainbows” in October 2007, it was first made available as a download fans could purchase at whatever they wanted to pay. At the time, Last.fm noticed the interest in Radiohead was high for its community of 21 million music fans.
“Radiohead understand that the Internet is changing music distribution,” said Martin Stiksel, Last.fm’s co-founder. Last.fm is now owned by CBS Corporation.
“We believe that music fans should be able to access music for free, and just as importantly, that artists and rights holders should be paid when their music is listened to. Last.fm makes this possible.”
It’s the first time Radiohead has granted a worldwide license for “In Rainbows” to an online Web music site. It’s made possible through the “one stop” digital licensing platform that Radiohead and publisher Warner/Chappell Music created at the end of 2007.
Since the debut of “In Rainbows,” Radiohead has released the album in physical form (January), has undertaken a mammoth worldwide tour (this spring/summer), and for the first time ever made its back catalog of recording available for sale (in June) on iTunes, the leading online distributor of legal digital music downloads.Radiohead’s bold distribution strategy for “In Rainbows” has caught the attention of publications worldwide and is believed to be — along with similar strategies by the band Nine Inch Nails — the spark allowing well-known artists license to experiment with new forms of distribution, shaking up even more the already-shaken music industry.
After Last.fm, what’s Radiohead’s next move?