Photo: Shirlaine Forrest
Radiohead's Ed O'Brien has rubbished claims that piracy is killing the music industry.
Instead, the guitarist hit out at the record industry for using an “analogue business model in a digital era.”
In an exclusive interview with MIDEM ahead of the 2010 music conference, O'Brien said: “I have a problem when people in the industry say ‘it’s killing the industry, it’s the thing that’s ripping us apart’. I don’t actually believe it is ... (Pirates) might not buy an album, but they’re spending their money buying concert tickets, a t-shirt, whatever.
“It’s an analogue business model in a digital era. The business model has to change. You’ve got to license out more music - have more Spotifys, more websites selling more music. You’ve got to make it slightly cheaper to get music in order to compete with the peer-to-peers.
“BitTorrent is very utilitarian, it’s deeply unsexy. The Richard Branson of nowadays would be able to set up a really amazing website for 14- to 24-year-olds that deals with their music ... and do something really innovative and make it really easy for people to buy music, and cheap.”
According to Paid Content, he continued: “A lot of 14-to 17-year-olds don’t have credit cards, so how are they going to get music digitally? These are very, very, very basic issues - I find it staggering that the industry seems to be really dragging its heels on this - this is stuff that you could do in one week. Move quicker!
“That’s been the whole problem in the last 10 years. Why are we here now? Because the recording industry dragged its feet over digital.”