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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Radiohead Erases Its Online Presence

Radiohead erased onlineRadiohead has always been groundbreaking when it comes to their online presence (the “pay what you want” campaign for In Rainbows being a prime example), but now it’s entered some new territory by slowly but effectively erasing its entire online presence.

Yes, that’s right. It’s pretty hard to find any trace of Radiohead online right now.

There are no longer any Facebook posts or tweets on the band’s accounts, and singer Thom Yorke has deleted his tweets as well. The band’s Google Plus account is now blank too. And most bizarre is that its website has been slowly fading away as the opacity has decreased until it too went totally blank.

Then over the weekend, fans received postcards from the band┬ávia old fashioned snail mail┬áthat simply said, “Sing the song of sixpence that goes ‘Burn the witch’.”

There’s speculation that there’s a new Radiohead album about to be released since the band registered a new company called Dawn Chorus LLP in February. Previous to the the band’s In Rainbows and The King of Limbs albums, the band also established companies in their names.

So there’s a new album coming, and we can be pretty sure that won’t be online, since the band has long shown it’s contempt for streaming. It should be interesting to see exactly what the marketing play is this time.

Update: The band reappeared this morning with a couple of short animated clips on Instagram, then a new music video presumably from their new album on its website.

Old Music Outsells New In 2015

Old Music outsells new musicNielsen’s latest music report is out and, as always, it’s very revealing about what we listen to in the U.S. Perhaps it’s biggest revelation is that, for the first time, old music (known as catalog sales) outsold new music in 2015.

Catalog is defined as a music release that’s more than 18 months old. Of course, we’re also talking about music sales and not streams, which is an entirely different matter.

That said, sales of older music came despite the huge sales numbers for Adele’s giant 25 album, which was only available for sale and not as a stream. The album went on to sell 7.2 million copies in the last 6 weeks of 2015 in the U.S. alone.

But lest you think that CDs are completely dead, 2015 saw 125 million of them sold for about $1.52 billion in revenue, which is still a huge amount of money.

And that’s only the CDs that were tallied by Soundscan. CDs sold privately on events and online aren’t counted.

Beyond that, there were 103 million digital albums downloaded, and 11.9 million vinyl albums sold.

As you can see on the chart on the left, catalog music leads over new music in all facets of sales. I guess the “Long Tail Theory” must be working.