Radiohead Release New Album 24hrs Early – Innocent Gesture or Clever Marketing Strategy?

Someone mentioned in the office today that Radiohead was releasing their new album tomorrow. I’m not much of a Radiohead fan myself so it didn’t really phase me.

Early this afternoon however, I began to see people mentioning they were downloading the new album, King of Limbs, and listening to it on Twitter & Facebook. Odd, I thought myself, since it wasn’t even supposed to be released yet. Surely no one would publically declare they were downloading illegal torrents, right?

I then saw a few articles posted throughout the web, most notably one posted on Mashable declaring that the album had been released 24 hrs early, and that it was purposely done. Apparently the reason was simply due to the fact that everything was already prepared and therefore unnecessary to wait an additional day until releasing the album.
Sounds innocent enough right? I’m sceptical.

I believe that it’s a very clever marketing ploy, within minutes the buzz around the new album was incredible. The album title and teaser track were trending world wide as the top two topics.

The outbreak of noise for Radiohead and their new album ‘The King of Limbs’ didn’t just limit itself to social networking sites, but tabloids and various other online publications too. In the past 24 hours there have been a grand total of 2,470 news articles indexed in Google News, with an incredible 1,850 being published in the past hour(and still counting by the minute).

After all Radiohead are no strangers to clever marketing after they allowed fans to pay “whatever they thought it was worth” when they released their last album at the end of last year.

The question that’s on my mind is would there have been this much buzz tomorrow had nothing out of the ordinary happened and the album have been released on the specified date? In my opinion this was a well prepared and thought out marketing ploy which has been successful in giving Radiohead and their new album a vast amount of free publicity. What do you think?