Before Tapping Oxford MBAs, Thom Yorke Approached Other Departments, Schools

Oxford MBAs secretly worked alongside Thom Yorke’s management company helping brainstorm marketing ideas for his latest solo album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, the University has revealed. But before assembling “Team Yorke,” as the crack troupe of Saïd Business School candidates came to be known, the Radiohead frontman’s Courtyard Management firm fruitlessly attempted to mine a number of the University’s other departments first.

It would appear that for the task of crafting clever branding tactics, not all academic departments are created equal. “It was immensely useful to have the input of the MBA students on data analysis and new marketing strategies,” said a spokesperson for Courtyard Management. “Shame the same cannot be said for those great tits at the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology. Fucking useless.”

Ethnobiologists were not the only malefactors, it seems. According to Courtyard, researchers in the Quantum Physics department insisted that the album was “mostly empty.” And students at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies added: “In emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind, no ignorance, no end of ignorance, no old age and death, no end of old age and death; no suffering, no cessation of suffering, no wisdom, no attainment, no non-attainment, no modern nor obsolete boxes.”

In addition to approaching Oxford, representatives for Courtyard sought to enlist scholars from a host of other schools, with some hopefuls still contributing peripherally to the project. James Heckman, Director at the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago urged that higher sales could be achieved by “relaxing and/or removing the restrictions of regulators, music critics, and other self-appointed gatekeepers.”

However, during a misguided packaging focus group, confused hopefuls at the ITT Technical Institute mistakenly whittled yesterday’s old-fashioned boxes from Basla branches and stray twigs.

Nonetheless, the hand-made containers will see an exclusive expo at Manhattan’s Pace Gallery in Chelsea in 2015, where it is rumoured Marina Abramović is to open each box, one by one, over the course of the next 44 years. Sotheby’s confirmed that the collection will be acquired following the exhibition by the Joseph Cornell Estate. After a private preview, the American artist Matthew Barney raved, “They whittled the shit out of those boxes, God love them!”

Released September 26th via file-sharing site BitTorrent, the company declined to report official sales figures for the full album. But Reddit users have pointed out that Radiohead have since set up a website for similar future collaborations, entitled “LinkedIn Rainbows,” signalling that a new record cannot be far behind.


Will Santa Claus Disrupt Music Distribution?

In addition to iTunes depositing MP3s straight to your computer, and BitTorrent charging for what is otherwise worthless, you may soon be getting your music from another unlikely content delivery service: Santa Claus. Yes, that jolly old soul of mystery, who usually confines his deliveries to Christmas Eve, has of recent months upturned the entire music distribution marketplace with his new start-up – Snta.

After an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign seeking to “disrupt first-generation reindeer games” raised more than six million dollars, Snta has firmly planted its footprint in the snow. This morning, dressed in customary black belt-cinched red-and-white suit and cap – which have become his product-launch trademarks – Snta’s co-founder and CEO Mr. Claus unveiled SleighBel, a new user-modifiable cloud-based storage service app, at many points ho-ho-hoing the crowd of journalists and businesspeople into veritable frenzy. Anticipating unprecedented growth, Mr. Claus moved his company in October from the North Pole to a disused warehouse in Williamsburg, where his team say they enjoy “bigger beards and better coffee.”

Similar forays into content delivery by the Easter Bunny (who launched eStrBx in late 2013) and the Stork’s fledgling Strk Corp. failed to generate the buzz Snta is currently relishing: Strk suffered from persistent bundling issues; and more disturbingly, eStrBx was charged with 2743 counts of sexual harassment on its first night of operation – none of them from clients. Both struggling companies have since been acquired, and shelved, by Apple. But following a strong I.P.O., Snta seems to be gaining traction where others fell short.

This could be because of its relative simplicity: orders are placed via Snta’s webshop, and delivered directly into users’ homes while they sleep. There is no signup required, and no software to install; however Snta has recently come under fire for its inherently intrusive platform – one startled customer reported seeing mommy kissing Santa Claus – and its questionable milk-and-cookie policy. Many have complained that a 4 x 4 foot chimney, the minimum bandwidth requirement, is still years away from becoming standard in most areas. And, as Naomi Klein uncovered in her latest exposé for the Guardian, the recent unexplained suicides of two elves have prompted an official inquiry into Snta’s dubious labour practices.

Whether or not Snta has the staying power of an Uber or Twitter remains to be seen: analysts project it will ultimately come down to whether consumers are naughty or nice. Partner and VP of marketing Mrs. Claus explained to Gizmodo, “Rooty toot toot and rummy tum tum.” But if its current “must own” status on “Mad Money” is any indication, we have only just glimpsed the beginning of Snta.