Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Nine Inch Nails continue to upset the music industry business model

Not for the first time this year, NIN have decided to slap the music industry upside the face by releasing yet another album for free.

A statement on their website thanks their fanbase for all their 'continued and loyal support over the years'. If you want to get a hold of the industrial rockers new album, The Slip, then follow this link. You will need to sign up with a valid email address. This is from the site itself:

'the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. your link will include all options - all free. all downloads include a PDF with artwork and credits.'

A nice little package for fans with the following tracklisting coming in at a 43 mins and 45 seconds:
  1. 999,999
  2. 1,000,000
  3. letting you
  4. discipline
  5. echoplex
  6. head down
  7. lights in the sky
  8. corona radiata
  9. the four of us are dying
  10. demon seed
A CD release is planned for July 2008. You may recall that NIN uploaded the Ghosts I-IV album earlier this year via The Pirate Bay back in March (under a non-commercial Creative Commons license). Earlier this week, a different website announced that the band had released a single entitled 'Echoplex' via iLike - familiar to many social network site users given its Facebook application.

Once again, Trent Reznor's band through traditional business models out of the window. Just when web users might be beginning to expect a slow change in how bands distribute their content, Radiohead recently announced that their try-and-don't-even-buy model for the album In Rainbows was a one-off.

Now I'm not really a big fan of NIN myself but I am intrigued by their attitude towards how they see themselves in relation to the rest of the music industry. There is no doubt that Reznor is a savvy character who understand the mind-set of music file sharers, and this is definitely a move that has earned him a fair amount of respect amongst pirate circles. Maybe the momentum for digital distribution isn't quite there yet, but moves like this will continue to test the major labels.
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