Thom Yorke on the Disappointment of His Bit Torrent Experiment
Remember when Bit Torrent, Inc. (that bought the uTorrent piracy application that Daniel Ek worked on) was trying make itself look less like a massive piracy enabler? It appears they had two motives in doing this–first to show “substantial non infringing uses” partly as a litigation strategy, but I would guess mostly to get higher value advertising…oh, sorry…was trying to demonstrate that they were all things pure and high minded because Bit Torrent was really designed to leverage their huge user base derived from piracy…sorry…Bit Torrent Bundle was really designed to help artists find an audience?
Remember when Thom Yorke allowed himself to be used as a poster boy for Bit Torrent Bundle on his solo record “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes”? Ever wonder how that worked out? Thom Yorke is interviewed by the Italian site Repubblica and fills us in.
Complete Music Update translates thusly in answer to the interviewer’s question was the Bit Torrent experiment successful:
“No, not exactly”, he said. “But, in fact, I wanted it to be an experiment. It was a reaction to everything that was going on. At the time, people were only talking about Spotify [as the future of music]. I wanted to show that in theory you can retain control of the entire chain of record production, from start to finish, yourself. In practice it is very different. We can’t take on all responsibility for this [as artists]. But I’m glad I tried”.
Which sounds like he didn’t get much help from the marketing geniuses at Bit Torrent. Which would make sense in a way, because it’s not like they are selling records or anything.
It also makes sense that Bit Torrent are not really doing Bundles for any reason other than taking the pirate stench off of their commercial business just long enough to improve its advertiser base. If someone was seriously trying to demonstrate that Bundle could compete with other music services and were handed a marketing opportunity like a Thom Yorke record, surely they would have done everything humanly possible to make that record a success.
Which Bit Torrent didn’t do.