Thom Yorke Enlisted Help of Oxford Business Students to Hatch Surprise BitTorrent Release
Published Oct 17, 2014Radiohead singer Thom Yorke surprised everyone with the release of his new album Tomorrow's Modern Boxes last month, and piled on some added shock by releasing it through BitTorrent. Now, it's been revealed that the secretive release scheme was conducted with the help of a group of Oxford University business students.
Yorke and longtime production collaborator Nigel Godrich previously released a statement explaining that Tomorrow's Modern Boxes was an "experiment" that used a "pay gate to access a bundle of files" in the hopes of returning the control of music sales into the hands of those who make it.
If you're still trying to wrap your head around the technical jargon and mechanics behind the album's release, though, you don't have to feel so bad. As reported by Billboard, Yorke recruited some of the best and brightest minds to help him figure it out. MBA students from Oxford's Saïd Business School worked with the Radiohead frontman's team at Courtyard Management to develop "user experience, media strategy and financial analysis."
A statement from the university reads: "The MBAs were able to put their learning into practice on the project, analyzing fan and market data and bringing together new technologies to generate new ideas challenging conventional content distribution mechanisms."
As for Phil Barry, a student that was in on the project, he described the experience as "inspiring for all of us."
The students reportedly also generated ideas for an innovative release of Radiohead's next album, though details are scarce — and as we learned this time around, Yorke and his team are pretty good at keeping secrets.