So Nine Inch Nails, newly out of contract with Interscope, released a new double album to the web on Saturday in the same way the Radiohead didn’t release In Rainbows last autumn. i.e. Ghosts is 100% DRM-free, available in lossless formats, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. It’s also available in five packages, ranging from the first 9 tracks (of 36) for nothing through to the Ultra-Deluxe Ltd Edition Package for $300 which is now totally sold out.
Turns out, this kind of thing was a bit popular and their servers almost totally fell down under the weight of demand. The FLAC download is 600MB+ - big stuff. As bunny-comic put it,
but bittorrent and rapidshare are also now in full effect with NIN themselves uploading the 9 track sampler to the net. Also worth noting is that A+R have also done packages for Sigur Ros and some other bands. Very nice it is too.
How wonderful it is to see major bands really trying to utilize the technology they have in front of them to further their cause and plough a different path. We’ve already seen unsigned bands take advantage of YouTube and the like for exposure and now it’s NIN.
The question is whether or not those labels whose bands want to do something similar will be enlightened enough to let them do it. In Rainbows and Niggy Tardust were definitely the warm-up bouts before this title bout. It will be very interesting to see what information NIN give us once this release is three or six months old. Certainly the stats for Niggy were interesting:
- As of 1/2/08,
154,449 people chose to download Saul’s new record.
28,322 of those people chose to pay $5 for it, meaning:
18.3% chose to pay.
- Of those paying,
3220 chose 192kbps MP3
19,764 chose 320kbps MP3
5338 chose FLAC
And that was with no publicity save word of mouth. You can find a full commentary on those in the nin.com feed dated Jan 4
So bravo Trent Reznor for having a go. I’ve paid my $75 for you to figure out new ways to pervert the music industry further.