Barenaked Ladies Beat Radiohead to the Punch

Innovative Band Strolls Down the User Generated Content Path

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Radiohead, who made big news last fall by allowing fans to decide how much they thought their latest album "In Rainbows" was worth paying for, are now inviting fans to help shape the sound of their new single, "Nude."

The band is posting five component tracks, or "stems," from the single on iTunes for $.99 apiece. Fans can them reassemble to their own liking and/or add beats, instruments, audio effects or whatever strikes your fancy. Heck, you can even call in Paul McCartney to chew carrots into a microphone if that would make you happy.

The band wants fans to then upload finished remixes to www.radioheadremix.com, where other Radioheads can listen and then vote for a favorite. They're also being encouraged to post the tracks on their own MySpace or Facebook pages with a widget that will count toward their vote total at Radiohead's remix site.

In a further tie up with iTunes/Apple, the fans will be given a file that allows them to import the tracks into Apple's popular Garage Band software (included with every new Mac), though the tracks can be remixed on other popular recording programs such as Logic and Pro Tools.

Whilst this is indeed pushing the boundaries of free music and fan interaction, its not the first time that a band has done this. The Barenaked Ladies, under the guidance of leading Music 2.0 manager Terry McBride, actually went down a similar route with the launch of their 2006 album, "Barenaked Ladies Are Me," where all 29 songs were made available in Pro Tools format.

As McBride says, the future is not just about selling records, it's about the music selling the artist in multiple ways and tapping into multiple revenue streams generated by the artist's brand, including live performances, merchandise, brand endorsements and intellectual property.
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