BitTorrent thinks it can get people to pay for torrents. On Friday, the company announced its first “paygated” BitTorrent Bundle, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s first solo record in eight years, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.
BitTorrent Bundles allow musicians, artists, writers and other creators to distribute their works directly to fans, who have to provide an email address to start the download. Popular artists like Madonna and Diplo have used BitTorrent Bundles.
Yorke’s new album, however, will be the first time a torrent requires payment as well. Fans can listen and watch the first track, “A Brain In A Bottle,” for free, but if they want the entire album, they’ll have to buy it for $6. The bundle can only be downloaded twice. Most of the profits go directly to Yorke, as BitTorrent plans to take only 10% of the sales of paygated bundles.
Yorke is no stranger to experimental album sales. Radiohead was the first major band to implement the “pay what you wish,” download philosophy back in 2007 with their album In Rainbows. Now, artists regularly offer digital copies of their album to fans who can pay what they want.
Yorke said in a statement:
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.
Photo by Angela N.