British band Radiohead made its brand new album ?In Rainbows? available for download to fans across the world this week. By doing this, Radiohead posed a bold challenge to the traditional music industry?s business model by offering its new album via digital download at a price open to fans? discretion.
With the music world?s attention focused on the launch, the hosts of Radiohead?s official download site, w.a.s.t.e, needed a solution that guaranteed uninterrupted delivery of the album. By selecting PacketExchange, the leading provider of private high-speed internet networks, w.a.s.t.e was able to bypass the public internet and its bottlenecks, and enable fans to download the album 100 times faster than via the public internet.
?With such a prestigious band as Radiohead, and such an important release, we knew that we had to call on the services of a company who could perform this delivery without a hitch. Fans had committed money upfront for their download and were therefore entitled to get it as soon as it became available and quickly. Ultimately people?s experiences on release day had to be the music and not the delivery, and PacketExchange exceeded our highest expectations,? says Julie Calland, at Radiohead?s band management company, Courtyard. ?The Radiohead album launch would have not been possible without PacketExchange.?
PacketExchange has been working with a number of partners utilizing a combination of complementary delivery platforms to ensure 100% guaranteed reliability and delivery of the album. PacketExchange worked closely with w.a.s.t.e to understand their requirements and developed the optimum solution for both the initial surge of demand after launch and ongoing demand in the future. Following the launch this week, users will have guaranteed access to Radiohead?s album 24/7 directly over PacketExchange?s eXpress service.
?If this album was sent over the public internet, it would have bounced back and forth significantly slowing down the download. This can have serious implications on the overall user experience and jeopardize Radiohead and w.a.s.t.e?s reputation,? says Kieron O?Brien, CEO of PacketExchange. ?A recent survey we commissioned shows that on average users wait no longer than ten seconds to get the content they want so speed is absolutely fundamental.?
w.a.s.t.e is Radiohead?s own fan service and has been running since the band began releasing records in the early 1990?s. Starting out as letters posted by the band, it grew in line with Radiohead?s success, providing a vital link between the fans and the band, with web services, ethically sourced merchandise, tickets and now the direct release of Radiohead?s ?In Rainbows? .
Virtek has provided technical support to w.a.s.t.e and its sister company, Sandbag, for many years. ?Their technical expertise has been crucial in this project to ensure that fans get the download they rightly deserve?, says Mel Maxwell, head of w.a.s.t.e. It was Virtek that sourced and recommended PacketExchange to be Radiohead and w.a.s.t.e?s partner in the fulfilment of the album download.
PacketExchange is the leading provider of private high-speed internet networks with a global application sensitive delivery platform spanning North America, Europe and Asia. By enabling organizations to bypass the public internet, PacketExhange offers its customers a reliable, fast and secure internet connection, while providing a superior user experience. PacketExchange has an impressive portfolio of over 450 customers including Microsoft and Yahoo!. Headquartered in London, England, PacketExchange also has offices in San Francisco and is rapidly expanding. PacketExchange was ranked as the 18th Fastest Growing Technology Company of 2006 in The Sunday Times Tech Trak and is nominated in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA 2007.