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18 Oct, 2007 02:31

Record industry - on fast track to extinction?

Musicians are inventing new business solutions to sell their albums, driving the record industry further along the road to extinction.

The latest blow for the record industry comes from the band Radiohead. Not only are they financing the recording of their album, but  are offering it for download on their website for whatever customers care to pay.

With Jamiroquoi and Oasis rumoured following their example, it may leave record labels without a job.

Russia is moving fast along with this trend.

The country’s top-selling pop singer, Zemfira, has decided to produce her new album herself. She released it through mobile phone retailer Evroset, avoiding contracts with any record labels.

“They are just a middleman between the artist and consumers. I don’t see any help from the record labels, they are just not interested in new ways of working,” the singer says.

During the first day of sales Evroset sold 15,000 albums across Russia. But it does not expect to profit directly from the project. For both artist and retailer, it is a matter of eye-catching promotion and better control over the process.

The record industry has been in trouble worldwide for quite some time, with sales dropping every year. Critics say record labels are outdated and have failed to adapt to the modern economy.

Experts point out that due to technological progress more people will simply download music files straight from the artist’s website – eventually making CDs along with record labels an endangered species.