"In Rainbows" is out, has reportedly already sold more than 1.2 million copies (which would dwarf sales of each of the past three Radiohead albums), and fans and critics alike are in awe. The music is great, of course, but the band's biggest accomplishment is probably that it has turned music into a global event again. Album releases had become somewhat trivial in the age of iTunes -- and now the buzz around "In Rainbows" created this big, meaningful moment of mass-togetherness.
The Spacelab blog nails it: "So now the world listens. October 10th was Radiohead day. The end effect, possibly not even anticipated, was that there was a simultaneous listening-happening as people all over the world downloaded and listened."
Radiohead has become a verb ("did you radiohead?"). The band has not only established a new business model; it has re-established the trust between producer and consumer in the music industry. Offered for free, music suddenly holds value again. Radiohead has proven that innovation is art and that art can be innovation.