×

Thom Yorke Solo Album Downloaded 400,000 Times Over Weekend via BitTorrent

Downloads of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s first solo album in eight years, “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes,” topped 400,000 in the first three days of he surprised fans with its release on the BitTorrent file-sharing network.

Album downloads had hit about 408,000 as of 10 a.m. Eastern on Monday, according to BitTorrent. It became available Friday at 11 a.m. ET.

SEE ALSO: Thom Yorke Releases Surprise New Album On BitTorrent

Yorke’s release took advantage of the BitTorrent Bundle feature, and it is the first time users can pay to “unlock” content distributed via the peer-to-peer software. While BitTorrent recorded the total number of downloads, however, it is not disclosing how many of those users actually paid the $6 fee to unlock the eight tracks (with a rep explaining that this info belongs to the publisher of the bundle, and that Yorke is not releasing that).

For BitTorrent, the release of Yorke’s album exemplifies its attempts to get in the good graces of content owners — many of whom have viewed the company’s software as facilitating rampant piracy. BitTorrent notes that it does not link to pirated content from its own services or software.

With “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes,” fans can pay using a credit card or PayPal in 140 currencies. The publisher covers transaction-processing fees, after which BitTorrent takes a 10% cut.

Yorke tweeted about the BitTorrent bundle when it was released on Sept. 26:

https://twitter.com/thomyorke/status/515520034228428800

“If it works well, it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to the 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,” Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich wrote in a blog post on BitTorrent’s site.

Yorke and his team worked with BitTorrent on the release for nine months, to ensure the release and payment processes would work as expected, according to BitTorrent chief content officer Matt Mason. “We wanted to be able to scale direct-to-fan distribution,” he said. “Our biggest fear was that something would break — but nothing broke.”

BitTorrent, which touts a user base of 140 million users, hopes to be able to open up the pay-gate bundle feature to all creators by the end of the year.

“Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” also is available for purchase on vinyl via the W.A.S.T.E. Shop website for £30 ($48.72).

Radiohead had previously tested music-biz conventions in 2007 when it released “In Rainbows,” letting fans pay whatever they wanted (or nothing) for the album. The British band is currently in the studio recording a new album.

More Digital

  • Stuber

    ‘Stuber’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending with “Stuber.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.91 million through Sunday for 1,325 national ad airings on 42 networks. [...]

  • Andy Signore Screen Junkies

    'Honest Trailers' Creator Andy Signore Settles Defy Media Suit

    Andy Signore, the creator of Screen Junkies’ “Honest Trailers,” has settled a lawsuit against Defy Media challenging his firing for alleged sexual misconduct. Signore was one of the first figures to lose his job in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein harassment revelations in October 2017. Defy Media, which then owned Screen Junkies, terminated him [...]

  • Joyride

    With Joyride, Everyone Can Host Their Own HQ Trivia

    When mobile game developer Kiwi first released Joyride, the app looked familiar: Similar to wildly popular HQ Trivia, Joyride offered players the ability to win quiz shows in live broadcasts. The key difference: Joyride’s app wasn’t home to just one trivia show, but multiple shows around topics like music, dating, fandom, and yes, trivia, all [...]

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • View of the Public Library on

    New York City Public Libraries Drop Kanopy Free Movie-Streaming Service

    Kanopy suffered a blow with the decision by New York City’s three public library systems — collectively the biggest library system in the U.S., with some 210 branches across the Big Apple — to drop the free movie-streaming service, citing high costs. As of July 1, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn and [...]

  • Cameo

    Celebrity Video Greetings Service Cameo Raises $50 Million

    Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well. Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content