Radiohead fans woke up to a fun surprise recently when frontman Thom Yorke released a surprise new album on BitTorrent through its new “paygate” feature for Bundles. BitTorrent has work to re-brand itself from a pirate’s paradise to a legitimate place for artists to distribute their music. BitTorrent’s first bundles kept content behind a gate unless you provided more info, like your email address. Thom Yorke’s newest album, “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes,” is the service’s first paygated Bundle. Anyone can download the single and video for free, but unlocking the rest of the album costs $6. It’s fitting that Thom Yorke is the service’s first paid artist – Radiohead released its 2007 album “In Rainbows” as a download with a pay-what-you-want model. BitTorrent takes a 10 percent cut, but the publisher and artist get the rest of the money and the associated fan data. Time will tell if BitTorrent’s service is a viable option for artists to launch new music, but as a platform with more than 100 million downloads, it’s at least worth a look.
About Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.