You could probably say that no rock band manager has a swagger quite like Brian Message, the man who once advised the biggest band in the world to split rather than risk putting out an album they weren’t crazy about. Message’s confidence (gamble?) subsequently paid off in the form of Radiohead’s In Rainbows “pay-what-you-want” scheme, morphing the band’s role in modern music from sonic to industry trailblazer. And now that Message has cornered the market of “Free” (as Chris Anderson would say), he’s ready to share the wealth.
Message, and his partners at ATC, have joined MAMA Group, and Nettwerk Music Group to form Polyphonic, a new label that specializes in groundbreaking digital releases, Telegraph reports. “We will do whatever is most effective to get an artist noticed,” MAMA Group’s Adam Driscoll said. “Giving an album away for free may get one million people listening to a new artist.”
At the MIDEM 2009 conference, Message elaborated on his new “free” specialty: “For us the key word in all of this stuff, other than trust, is value. Free music has a value for us,” he said. By “us,” Message is referring to the ATC roster, including Radiohead, Kate Nash, Faithless, and presumably the “new and established artists” that Polyphonic plans to court.