In an interview with BBC Radio 6 personality Steve Lamacq Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke let the world know the band's grand scheme with their donation–based sale of their recent opus In Rainbows: there was none. Contrary to what seemed to be the case, the band had no plans of turning the industry on it's head as many analysts and bloggers speculated. It seems it was an idea thought up by their management who were reticent to sign a contract without a finished record. The band kept the plan close to themselves with Yorke keeping even his wife in the dark about it and compares the move to leaking the album themselves, only allowing some profit to be made.
The band decided to release a digital version of In Rainbows, allowing the customer to pay whatever they felt they needed to for it, a move heralded as a sea change in the industry, given the band's stature. However they then received a fair amount of criticism for then going back to a traditional label for widespread physical distribution.
For the full interview you can listen here.
Our friends at Quote Unquote recently commented on the situation saying: Is this a bummer? Who knows.