Apparently, this video also doubles as the title sequence for David Fincher’s upcoming film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Kinda reminds you of the now classic title sequence for Se7en, huh?
trent reznor Archive
I’m not trying to hate; I honestly just haven’t really liked anything you’ve put out since Year Zero. Remember that Nine Inch Nails song, “Wish”? That song kicks so much ass, I just want to hear something new like that. But your new stuff’s gotten more experimental, downtempo, inaccessible, and for lack of a better word, “meh.” I gave your new band/project, How To Destroy Angels, a shot because of your pedigree, but I’m sad to report that the underwhelming single “A Drowning” is the best song on it.
That being said, I still love your acceptance and knowledge of how to distribute your wares on the internet. You provide pristinely encoded mp3s for the low, fair price of an email address. You make it easy for us to tweet, blog, facebook, and share your music without treating us as thieves. I’m glad you’ve offered me the chance to come to my musical conclusion by sampling your music for free.
I am sure there are people out there who enjoy your new musical direction and I don’t fault them for it. It looks like you’ve already “sold out” a $50 tshirt package on your merch site, so congratulations on that too. It’s just that I don’t think your music is for me anymore.
Remember the cryptic ID3 tag from the Nine Inch Nails – Discipline single download a couple weeks ago? Well, May 5th is upon us and a visit to nin.com reveals that the surprise is none other than a completely free download of a new Nine Inch Nails album entitled The Slip.
as a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album one hundred percent free, exclusively via nin.com.
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.
for those of you interested in physical products, fear not. we plan to make a version of this release available on CD and vinyl in july. details coming soon.
I love how Trent continues to put out his material in proper digital formats, word is that the MP3 encodes are LAME V0 – none of this “encoded in iTunes” n00bery. All it takes to download is your email address again. I’m still waiting on my download link, but it looks to be the same process as it was in downloading “Discipline.”
Although, coming so quickly off the heels of “Ghosts I-IV,” I have a sliver of doubt of the album’s quality. I’m guessing it’s a more traditional Nine Inch Nails album, but could Trent be oversaturating us with material?
Regardless, free albums are awesome, especially with the presentation that Trent is putting forth here.
Download The New Nine Inch Nails Album [theslip.nin.com]
No, that’s not a black and white version of Coldplay’s X&Y cover up there, it’s the cover to the latest Nine Inch Nails single, Discipline. This ain’t no BS instrumental either, we get to hear Trent Reznor’s soothing vocals layered over a 122 bpm bed. It’s a vintage Nine Inch Nails song, fans casual and hardcore alike should be into it.
If you look within the ID3 tag of the single, there’s a cryptic note that says:
Go to www.nin.com May 5
Hmmmm, maybe more free tracks? An album release date?
You can get your own copy of discipline here. All it takes is your email and you get a pristinely encoded VBR MP3. Trent takes care of his fans.
Download Nine Inch Nails – Discipline [nin.com]
A pretty good haul for our buddy Trent if I don’t say so myself.
If we google first week CD sales numbers for the last three Nine Inch Nails records, (Year Zero, With Teeth, The Fragile) we can see that they each sold between 200,000-300,000 copies. (Apologies for not having exact numbers, my SoundScan access expired) Already an impressive feat for Ghosts as its first week numbers almost triple any one of the previous records.
“But what about the free downloads skewing the numbers?” you may ask.
At the end of the day, what matters most to the artist? Money. Ghosts‘ $1.6 million take goes ALL to Nine Inch Nails (yes, then they have to pay for bandwidth, manufacturing, distribution, and whatnot). Contrast that with the horrid cuts that major label contracts give to an artist on CD sales (normally $1-$2 per record sold, not including advance repayments). Say Trent made $2 per record for one of his last 3 records. At an average of 250,000 copies sold, he would take in $500,000 from first week sales. That’s almost one-third what he’s pulling in now from Ghosts!
If you were a major artist, which way would you want to sell your record?
Granted, time will tell if Ghosts will have staying power and continue to take in revenue. A big chunk of that $1.6 million was due to the $750,000 from the “ultra limited edition” that will never be sold again. However, my intuition tells me that the costs in recording this latest all-instrumental album were much less than a traditional nin album and that Trent probably already has a good return on his investment already.
It’ll be interesting to see how this model works with other artists or even a “real” Nine Inch Nails album. But from the looks of things, Trent is onto something here.
*The first fourth is free
Out of NOWHERE, Nine Inch Nails have released their new album available right this second from the nin website.
Trent Reznor shows again why he’s the most innovative artist today in pioneering new business models for music. The album, a 36-track instrumental album collection called Ghosts I-IV, is available via six different SKU’s, from free to $300. The album is even released under the Creative Commons License, solving the earlier issues he had when trying to hold remix contests with fans.
From the press release:
FREE DOWNLOAD Ghosts I – The first 9 tracks from the Ghosts I-IV collection available as high-quality DRM-free MP3s (320kbps LAME encoded, fully tagged) including complete 40 page PDF. Also includes the digital extras pack – various wallpapers, icons, and graphics tools for your computer, website, profile, etc.
$5 DOWNLOAD Ghosts I-IV – All 36 tracks in a variety of DRM-free digital formats (320 kbps LAME encoded, fully tagged; FLAC Lossless; Apple Lossless) including a 40 page PDF. Also includes the digital extras pack – various wallpapers, icons, and graphics tools for your computer, website, profile, etc. This version is also available from the Amazon MP3 store.
$10 2XCD SET Ghosts I-IV – 2 audio CDs in a gatefold digipak package with a 16-page booklet. To be shipped TBD. Includes immediate DRM-free download of the entire collection in same choice of formats as $5 Download option. Download will include the 40 page PDF and the digital extras pack – various wallpapers, cons, and graphics tools for your computer, website, profile, etc. This configuration will be released to retail in North America (April 8), Australia (April 5), the UK (April 8), Japan (April 5) and most European territories (April 8).
$75 LIMITED EDITION DELUXE PACKAGE Ghosts I-IV – Hardcover book holding 2 audio CDs, 1 data DVD of all 36 tracks in multi-track format (in .wav files readable by Mac and Windows), and Blu-ray disc featuring stereo recordings in high-definition 24 bit 96Khz with exclusive slide show. Includes immediate DRM-free download of the entire collection in all formats and with all extras mentioned above. Also includes 48-page hardcover of photographs by Phillip Graybill and Rob Sheridan. Discs and art book both housed in fabric slipcover.
$300 ULTRA-DELUXE LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE Ghosts I-IV – Contains all elements from deluxe package, along with exclusive 4XLP 180-gram vinyl set, and two limited edition Giclee prints available exclusively in this package. Disc book, art book, and prints are all housed in a fabric slipcover. 4XLP vinyl set comes in its own fabric slipcover. INCLUDES immediate DRM-free download of the entire collection in all formats and with all extras mentioned above. LIMITED TO 2500 PIECES, NUMBERED AND PERSONALLY SIGNED BY TRENT REZNOR.
$39 4-vinyl version will be available at retail April 8.
Brilliant. Trent’s definitely learned from the Saul Williams experiment.
By creating a tiered distribution model, Reznor satisfies different level of consumers with aplomb. He gets the mass-market/non-fans with the free 25% of the album. If they like the music, buying the entire album digitally is a very reasonable $5 investment. If they don’t like it, not as much bandwidth is wasted on them as giving away the entire album. It also creates a bigger incentive for people to pay up. For people who want a badge of honor/lossless recording/CD for the car a 2 CD set is only $10. While it’ll be a little bit before they ship, they still get the instant gratification of a digital download along with digital art bonuses. For the true audiophiles/remix artists/fans, the $75 edition has every possible file format (including Blu-ray!) you could want along with a nice hard art-package. Finally, for the extreme fans/collectors, he’s got a truly unique limited edition offer. Hell, there’s even a vinyl version if you’re a record snob/Bob Lefsetz.
Combining digital with physical offerings in affordable options makes too much sense. It’s a wonder no one hasn’t done it before. To top it off, there was no “street date” with this release. A new NIN album was a given, but no one had any idea it would be this quick and this sudden. The usual process of leading with a radio single, announcing dates and “building hype” is completely shattered. Taking a cue from Steve Jobs at Apple, Reznor announces and distributes AT THE SAME TIME. What an idea! Why the fuck won’t more artists/labels see this? Nothing is more annoying to a fan than seeing/hearing new material from their favorite artists and not being able to buy/consume it the second it comes out.
The only blemish on this release thus far is that the webstore seems to be absolutely hammered to hell right now. I can barely load the page, much less buy or download anything. Did we not learn anything from the In Rainbows initial fiasco?
Discounting the technical difficulties, though, this, my friends, is how it is done. It doesn’t even matter if the music sucks, I wouldn’t want to buy music from my favorite artists any other way from now on.
Read the full press release after the jump
Buy/Download Ghosts I-IV [ghosts.nin.com]
Saul’s previous record was released in 2004 and has sold 33,897 copies.
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.
As expected, a minority of people actually paid for the album, despite being offered higher quality file formats for the songs as an incentive. How does Trent feel about this?
If that assumption is correct – that most of the people that chose to download Saul’s record came from his or my own fan-base – is it good news that less than one in five feel it was worth $5? I’m not sure what I was expecting but that percentage – primarily from fans – seems disheartening.
He then goes on to lament over how he spent too much on producing the album and that it was a project that “nobody’s getting rich off [of]“. However, Trent’s assuming a lot about who’s buying the record. In exactly two months, the new record has moved almost as many “units” as Saul’s last album. That’s a pretty decent amount, in my opinion. Not to mention, over 5 times as many people have been exposed to the album. Granted, the last album could have had more exposure due to file trading/sharing and such, but at least now Saul has hard numbers as to what his audience reach is. Reznor’s disappointment is no undoubtedly exacerbated by the fact that he spent a lot of money producing and distributing the record. Despite this, though, I feel this is one of the best sales models for a developing artist to adopt. I would imagine lots of baby bands aren’t going to be spending the fortune that Reznor did to produce their albums. It’s also a painless, non-insulting way for artists and fans to distribute and consume new music. It provides a method of monetary compensation to the artist that may not have existed under the previous CD-only model. Perhaps some more incentive could be given to the fans who like the music enough that they want to support it. Maybe this could be a concert ticket discount, a piece of merch, or some kind of badge of honor.
It may not be the perfect solution to the music distribution problem, but it’s certainly a good start. If more artists adopt this model, it definitely opens the door for bandwidth/backend solution providers to get in on the act. Eventually, the benefits of economies of scale can be reaped, further making it easier for anyone to cheaply distribute their music to the world.
Kudos to Trent and Saul for actively trying to make headway on revolutionizing the business model of music. Keep your chin up, dawg! You did good, Trent. You did good.
NiggyTardust Followup [nin.com]
Nine Inch Nails’ official site for fan produced remixes of Year Zero was supposed to launch last Monday. Unfortunately, according to a post by Trent Reznor on the band’s website, legal issues brought upon by Universal Records, the band’s former label, are the cause of the site’s delay.
Universal feels that if they host our remix site, they will be opening themselves up to the accusation that they are sponsoring the same technical violation of copyright they are suing these companies for. Their premise is that if any fan decides to remix one of my masters with material Universal doesn’t own – a “mash-up”, a sample, whatever – and upload it to the site, there is no safe harbor under the DMCA (according to Universal) and they will be doing exactly what MySpace and YouTube are doing.
While Universal’s legal concerns are legitimate, the overall situation is, in one word, bullshit. Doing exactly “what MySpace and YouTube are doing” is building your consumer base. It’s nice that Universal isn’t so myopic as to prevent Reznor from launching the site, but by taking this course of action, they are implicitly condoning “what MySpace and YouTube are doing”.
Situations like this are exactly why the major labels are fading into irrelevancy. Like the Napster situation before it, if only someone saw user generated content as an opportunity to evolve the way their business instead of futilely trying to stop the juggernaut of technological evolution, they might not be in the situation they are in now. Unfortunately, they tying their own nooses with legal red tape.
Read Trent’s Post [nin.com]