The music business has had to be more creative and resourceful than ever before in recent years, not so much to market specific artists, but to get listeners to purchase music through legal and profitable transactions. While nobody has yet to hit the nail on the head, BitTorrent took 2014 to expand to the music community, looking to provide a space of online commerce that would give some control to the artists themselves.
Thus BitTorrent Bundles were born, a service that allows albums to be paywalled and artists to control how their work is being distributed. The most notable of these musicians and in turn the most downloaded, was Thom Yorke, the Radiohead frontman who released his second solo album, “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” exclusively via BitTorrent in September. Yorke’s Bundle was downloaded 1.1 million times in the first week it was released. It’s not the first time Yorke has been innovative in his experimental releasing techniques. Radiohead’s 2007 album, “In Rainbows” was one of the first to use the “pay-what-you-want” method, a technique that has been replicated by thousands of artists since, some more successfully than others. The band’s latest release, “King of Limbs” got somewhat of a surprise release, being announced just days before it was available to the public. Since then, musicians like Beyonce have found tremendous success following similar models.
Keep in mind that the following list only takes into account music downloaded via BitTorrent, and doesn’t include legal downloads from other services. It’s an interesting reminder, however, that the music industry continues to be in its most malleable state, continuously searching for a commerce model that will make both listeners and creators satisfied.
BitTorrent’s 10 Most Legally Downloaded Artist of 2014
1. Thom Yorke
4. De La Soul
5. Zeds Dead
7. Ace Hood
8. Mad Decent
9. Vinyl Williams
10. Hundred Waters
(via The Fader)