Radiohead singer Thom Yorke sells his new solo album via BitTorrent


Credit: Nikola Spasenoski /

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has a new album, and it’s available exclusively via BitTorrent. Yorke is the first artist using BitTorrent’s Bundles program to sell downloads, making it a test case for what could be another option for artists to monetize their music or videos.

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, as the album is called, will cost fans $6, but one of the songs and the music video that goes along with it are free. BitTorrent has been experimenting with artist-authorized downloads for more than two years, but so far has only asked users to give up their email address in order to “unlock” a download.

The Yorke album marks the first time a BitTorrent bundle is actually up for sale; the singer called it “an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something the general public can get its head around” in a letter accompanying the release.

This isn’t the first time P2P file sharing has been combined with paid downloads. BitTorrent itself briefly experimented with a download store, which was shut down six years ago because its DRM restrictions didn’t bode well with the company’s audience. Since-defunct file sharing client LimeWire also used to sell music through a dedicated store, and more recently, VODO has begun to sell its own form of bundles, which are also distributed via the BitTorrent client.

However, BitTorrent as a company has the advantage of a huge built-in audience of more than 170 million monthly active users. With its bundles, it is clearly shooting to be a competitor in the artist-controlled self-publishing space, going head-to-head with companies like Vimeo or — and a high-profile partner like Thom Yorke could help the company to make inroads with other artists.



Bit Torrents, though free, are a good way to catch viruses and an easy way to get hacked. I am not suggesting the idea is not a good one. I just think they should beef up their security and publicize that widely, if they expect a possibility from this.

Jimmy in Jakarta

In this case we’re not talking about Russian hacker injected versions of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition from Pirate Bay. It’s audio files.

So on the contrary, I would suggest this IS A BRILLIANT IDEA. Non DRM audio files, straight from the artist for 6 USD? Sign me up!


That’s another thing… Everybody wants credit cards and I don’t carry the little Devils. Take my word for it! Like everything Man touches, he corrupts… It will be but one more pile of Internet trash in no time. So make hay while the sun shines :O)

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