When Thom Yorke both announced and then released his new solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, within the space of like 20 minutes on Friday, September 26, the thing came as a total surprise. That he was able to keep it a secret was partly due to the nature of the service he used to distribute the album (BitTorrent), but more importantly, because a lot of folks behind the scenes kept their mouths shut. Those people included roughly 170 BitTorrent employees, as well as a handful of Oxford MBA students. According to Billboard, those students “worked with Yorke’s team at Courtyard Management on user experience, media strategy, and financial analysis for the BitTorrent release [and they] ‘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.'” Corporate-speak aside, I gotta say, that’s a pretty sweet assignment! But the Oxford students’ involvement with Yorke didn’t end there. Says Billboard:
“They also generated some potential strategies on how to release the next Radiohead album, so fans could be in store for another unconventional album delivery from the iconic band.”
Frankly, at this point I’d be more surprised if the next Radiohead album were released via traditional channels than by just about any “unconventional delivery” system. Regardless of how it arrives, though, I gotta believe a bunch of Oxford grad students are gonna give better advice here than, say, Tim Cook. So you guys know anybody in the MBA program at Oxford? Let’s get ‘em talking!