Mugison Tries Radiohead Sales Model Skip to content

Mugison Tries Radiohead Sales Model

Inspired by English rock band Radiohead, Icelandic musician Mugison has decided to distribute his new album online, though he is not planning to have his fans choose the price they’re willing to pay for it.

Mugison told Vidskiptabladid that he expects to earn up to double the amount per album sold by distributing the album on his own and without a publisher.

“This has been a bit of a hustle and I’m looking at a huge overdraft,” Mugison said. “But the industry has changed so much during the last five years, and more and more musicians are successfully accomplishing this for themselves so I wanted to give it a try.”

The music industry is also changing on a local scale. According to Ásmundur Jónsson, chairman of the Association of Icelandic Record Producers, Icelandic musicians are becoming increasingly important in the local market.

“Last year the market share of Icelandic music was 65 percent, compared to 35 percent held by foreign music,” Jónsson said. “The year before it was 55 percent versus 45, so it’s a huge leap.”

There are many reasons for locally-produced music having a larger portion of the market, including the uniqueness of Icelandic music, competition with the internet and the fact that Icelanders purchase music by Icelandic musicians to support the local music scene, Jónsson explained.

Jónsson added that the price of CDs has dropped this year because of the reduction of the value-added tax (VAT) this March, which has helped improve the Icelandic music industry.

In 2006, total record sales in Iceland amounted to ISK 770 million (USD 13 million, EUR 9 million), an increase from 2005. Jónsson expects the sales to further increase this year.

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