Thom Yorke Releases His Latest Music Sales Experiment On Bandcamp

image from www.hypebot.com[UPDATED] Tom Yorke is now selling his new music via direct to fan platform BandCamp. With Radiohead, Yorke was the first major artist to offer new music using the "pay-what-you-want" model. As a solo artist, he's tried a variety of new release and sales platforms, including most recently, BitTorrent bundles.  His goal with each of these experiments has to been to bypass "the self elected gate-keepers."

bandcampYorke has both released  a new song and put his latest album, previously only available via BitTorrent, on Bandcamp. The single is priced as "pay-what-you-want,"  and there are vinyl and merchandise options available, as well.

While the Radiohead front man has yet to make a formal announcement as to why he chose Bandcamp this time around, his presence there further confirms the platform's value.  

Yorke has been on a long journey to find what he has called the most "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…If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done." 

Share on:


  1. This guy is clueless. Any artist, right now can sell their product direct to consumers.
    The only reason this even remotely works for him is because he has an established fan base.
    The problem isn’t sales directly to consumers, it is becoming known so that consumers know who you are!

  2. Yeah, the line “If this works anyone can do exactly as we’ve done”, should be: “If this works anyone from a world famous band, can do as we’ve done”…..But to be honest there are some folks from world famous bands for which whom, this still wouldn’t work for.

  3. Jason and TJR, you’re missing two key points: scalability and decentralization. The quote about “If this works…” is referencing the BitTorrent Bundle to see if peer-to-peer technology could handle the download capacities needed for a “world famous band.” (Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes was downloaded 114,000 times in the first 24 hours with no pre-release notice whatsoever.) This is in comparison to the release of In Rainbows, for which Radiohead literally bought their own physical server and had people download the files directly from them. The thing about BandCamp or SoundCloud or Spotify etc. is that, while those are scalable, the artist first gives their files over to the company, then people download the files from that company, not from the artist. The BitTorrent Bundle experiment, which involved not only Thom but also a team of graduate students from MIT, was different because the file that the company is hosting is not the music itself but rather the torrent file which connects the music files among all users who download it; the point is to decentralize the distribution source with scalable technology.

Comments are closed.