Radiohead manager Brian Message will be co-launching an innovative new label focused on digital releases. The label, Polyphonic, is a three-way joint venture between Message’s own management company ATC, UK music conglomerate MAMA Group and major Canadian indie Nettwerk.
An initial $20 million USD will be emptied into the label, which will see artists operating autonomously, without the typical heavy handedness of traditional record labels.
Interestingly enough, one of their strategies will be giving away albums online for free, similar to Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” model. This will be a note-worthy experiment, as not many artists have anything close to the credibility or marketing power of Radiohead. Another strategy will be allowing artists to hold onto their copyrights, and plans to pay royalty rates starting at about 50 percent, roughly four times the normal rate.
Co-chief executive of the MAMA Group Adam Driscoll has even gone as far to say: "We will do whatever is most effective to get an artist noticed.”
Sounds like a refreshing change of pace, although not particularly viable.