Radiohead has been out in front of social media trends and even anticipated some of the major shifts in the music business. The band pioneered the “pay what you want” distribution method with their 2007 release In Rainbows. But Radiohead has always had Luddite characteristics too — so ditching social media, which Radiohead did over the weekend, isn’t completely out of character. It also fits something all famous artists are adept at: going against the grain and getting a lot of exposure and attention for it. Enter Radiohead’s latest move.
The band appears to have erased its entire digital footprint, sending it back to pre-digital radio days. The Radiohead Twitter account still exists, but six years of Tweets have been deleted. 1.6 million fans now follow an empty account. Talk about starting over — it’s pure tabula rasa, as the esoteric Radiohead might say. The band is rumored to be releasing its 9th studio album soon. It’s a long-awaited follow up to the 2011 release King of Limbs. Ever the iconoclast, perhaps Radiohead just figured that instead of trying to get a lot of attention using social media, they’d get even more attention not using it at all. Or maybe, because they are enormous stars, they just said WTF — tweeting sucks. And we don’t have to.