Radiohead’s former label, EMI, has taken to the business pages of the London Times to strike back at its former art-rock poster children, saying that Thom Yorke and his merry band of thieves walked after demanding a deal that would have cost EMI more than £10 million, a figure which includes an advance, £3 million of “international marketing” for In Rainbows, and the copyrights for their back catalog:
The massive demand is far greater than had been thought. The critically acclaimed band had been offered a £3 million advance by Mr Hands for their latest album, but wanted more.
An EMI spokesman said last night: “Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidise their gains.”
The band’s management hit back, saying that it believed that more high-profile artists could abandon EMI. It accused Mr Hands of not negotiating seriously.
Radiohead wanted EMI to hand over at least some of the copyrights to their catalogue of albums such as OK Computer, a demand that would have devalued EMI’s recorded music catalogue and cost the British music major millions in future earnings.
Giving Radiohead the rights to their last two albums would have presented EMI with a £4 million loss. It is believed that the band was also seeking a guaranteed £3 million EMI budget on international marketing for the new album, although their management does not accept this figure.
Well, of course they’re going to dispute those claims–didn’t the “international marketing” for In Rainbows wind up being pretty low-cost? Some wheatpasted posters here, some T-shirts there, some low-cost video ads that got picked up by bloggers far and wide. Oh yeah, and all that free publicity garnered by the “pay what you like we’re smashing the record industry, hahaha just kidding please buy the discbox or the plain old CD, kthxbye!” stunt. That didn’t really cost much, though, right? I mean, the way that first webcast kept crapping out, you’d think that they went really really deep discount on their Webhosting plan.