While U2 partnered with iTunes to deliver a free album, Radiohead's Thom Yorke decided to use a different approach. Today, Thom Yorke drops his new solo album entitled Tomorrow's Modern Boxes via BitTorrent. For those who aren't familiar to BitTorrent and torrents, it is de-centralized file distrbution system made popular or infamous (depending on who you are) by services like The Pirate Bay. Also, instead of giving the album away for free like U2, Thom Yorke is charging $6 for the album, which also includes a music video of the song "A Brain In A Bottle."
Thom Yorke co-wrote a letter along with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich explaining the reason behind this release.
As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record.
The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files..
The files can be anything, but in this case is an 'album'.
It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around …
If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work.
Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves.
Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.
If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.
The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud’ malarkey.
It's a self-contained embeddable shop front…
The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.
Oh yes and it's called
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes.
Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich