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452 comments

I got it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647212)

I got the $5 download, it's a really good album, the tracks are strange, but work suprisingly well

Re:I got it (3, Informative)

hsdpa (1049926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647378)

[...]the tracks are strange, but work suprisingly well
Well, it's NIN, isn't it? I like it. They uploaded the first volume (which can be downloaded from their own site) via some public bittorrent-trackers [thepiratebay.org].

Nice initiative.

Re:I got it (5, Interesting)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647674)

I'm downloading the lossless version now. Mr Reznor is more than welcome to my 5 bucks. I hadn't listened to NIN since the nineties when one of my room mates used to blast "Closer" all the time. Not my kind of thing, but I figured there was nothing to lose in downloading the free tracks from "Ghosts" yesterday. I'm a big Brian Eno fan, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.

This is how it should be. I would never have even listened to this album if I hadn't been able to try out those tracks for free. Being able to download DRM free in lossless is the killer. I hope this is a massive success for NIN to encourage other artists to do the same.

I really like how he has taken advantage of the digital format to make the album art for each song different. It shows up in iTunes album view with the regular cover, but if I play it on my iPod Touch the art (which is damn cool BTW) changes with each song. It's a nice little effect.

Awesome! (5, Interesting)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647222)

As big name artists like NIN and Radiohead pave they way, I fervently hope and pray we are seeing the end of the RIAA.

I haven't bought an American CD in years because of how the RIAA strong armed colleges and effectively shut down web radio.

This system is far fairer to the artists as well; they get a far bigger piece of the pie. There will be fallout for artists I am sure, but I think it will lead to a far richer music industry in the U.S.

In short, I am just really happy that a few bands are beginning to pave the way to a world without an RIAA.

Re:Awesome! (3, Insightful)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647254)

I would like to think positively in that regard. I do fear that success of this sort will only lead to backlash and a more intense milking of the failing biz plan that they are clinging to like the parasites they are. Ever scorch a set-in tick? They bite harder.

Re:Awesome! (5, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647328)

success of this sort will only lead to backlash and a more intense milking of the failing biz plan that they are clinging to

Which will lead to even less CD sales, more public outcry, and even more artists doing the same thing as NIN. Eventually, RIAA won't have any funds left to abuse us with, either by the member companies leaving, or the member companies bleeding dry.

Re:Awesome! (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647812)

I like the sentiment of your post, I really do.

But whilst people keep buying products from the likes of Sony et al. such as the PS3, DVDs and so forth then the RIAA isn't going to go away anytime soon by way of financial drought.

Unfortunately the RIAA isn't some isolated entity that can be vanquished, it's made up of a lot of major multi-nationals with massive amounts of resources that can be pooled from other business areas if need be.

The best bet for destroying the RIAA is to ensure the current companies that make up the RIAA don't have control of the next generation of music distribution and that the companies involve in the next generation of music distribution aren't equally as evil as the current generation. Ideally we need to see companies like Sony pull out of their music business altogether in the long term, although that's a tall order and with the massive amount of resources and the massive footing these companies have in the music industry I'd be surprised if we can get them to withdraw altogether.

Re:Awesome! (4, Insightful)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647754)

Ever scorch a set-in tick? They bite harder.
First off, you shouldn't be burning ticks out. Removing with tweezers runs the risk of breaking the tick and thus raises the odds of contracting Lyme disease (among other things, so this method is often used in conjugation with topical antibiotics on hand). A much safer, more reasonable method is to cover the entire area around the tick with petroleum jelly, thereby suffocating the tick.

I bring this up because Trent et al. aren't burning their ticks out, they're suffocating them. They just smear on the Vaseline and forget all about it, going about their business while the tick tries to scramble through the mysterious ooze to get air.

And raking in astounding profit while they're at it, I feel compelled to add.

Awesome Napster Download! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647266)

"In short, I am just really happy that a few bands are beginning to pave the way to a world without an RIAA."

The way could have been paved sooner if people simply stopped consuming their material.

Instead there was the side tour through napster and now P2P showing that people really lack the will to effect change no matter how much talking up they do on forums and blogs about hating the status quo.

Re:Awesome! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647434)

Or what you might more likely see is a big push for some sort of compulsory license scheme, of which they would muscle in on the collections business.

Re:Awesome! (4, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647526)

They have already gone this route by trying (and continuing to try) to introduce legislation mandating a "media tax" on all ISPs much like the Canadian blank CD tax. If they can't get their pound of flesh from the artists, they will try the other end of the supply chain...US!

What I can't understand is the media companies keep claiming a decline in sales yet also report record profits. This is more true of the movie industry than the music but still, it doesn't make any logical sense to me. It is like the oil industry claiming to need tax relief while showing record profits. I just don't get it...

Re:Awesome! (5, Funny)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647596)

What I can't understand is the media companies keep claiming a decline in sales yet also report record profits. This is more true of the movie industry than the music but still, it doesn't make any logical sense to me. It is like the oil industry claiming to need tax relief while showing record profits. I just don't get it...

The media companies need those profits to invest in exploration to find new sources of music. Experts believe that music extraction has reached its peak and is now declining. Not to mention the manipulating tactics of OMEC (Organization of Music Exporting Countries). Unless you want to pay $5 per gallon for your music, you shouldn't begrudge those profits.

Re:Awesome! (3, Insightful)

WallaceAndGromit (910755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647716)

If you are going to make that analogy, you forgot to mention the high price we (the US) pay, through taxes, to provide military security around the globe to protect our music interests. Unfortunately, this price is not included in the cost of music that we buy, but instead is buried in our tax bills, so we have no real clue how much this security is actually costing. Also, even those of us who wish to conserve music (Prius pumping out Bach) still pay the same protection price as others (Escalade pumping out Hip-Hop), on average, because of this method of financing music security. While I would not support a music tax that is simply paid straight to the RIAA to increase profits, I would say a music tax, used to cover the true costs of security, would be enlightening and fairer to those of us who chose to conserve.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647506)

Yeah you might say Trent completely nailed it! haha

Re:Awesome! (5, Interesting)

AGMW (594303) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647636)

In short, I am just really happy that a few bands are beginning to pave the way to a world without an RIAA.

It's happening all over - about 18 months ago a new music site called Sellaband [sellaband.com] opened its doors to unsigned Artists around the world. The object is to pre-sell copies of your next album at $10 (US) a piece. Once you hit $50000 you are put into a top studio with top producers and for each $10 Part a Believer purchases they get one copy of the 5000 Limited Edition versions of the album. Regular editions are also made available for the Artist to sell at gigs etc, and now Amazon.co.uk [amazon.co.uk] have signed up to sell them, and even pre-order 100 copies by buying 100 Parts once each Artist reaches $30000.

The Believers then get a share of the advertising revenues, and sales of the regular CD, plus anything they can make on selling any spare Limited Edition CDs, the Artist gets a third, Sellaband [sellaband.com] gets a third and the 5000 Believers share the last third. It's not going to make you a millionaire but its sort of fun!

So far there are over 6000 Artists registered, with 17 having made the $50000, last night Kaitee Page became the latest, and 7 of them now have their albums available from the Sellaband shop [sellaband.com] where you can purchase the CDs or download the tracks - the first three tracks are free and the others are all on 50c (US) each

Re:Awesome! (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647796)

Personally, I wouldn't pre-pay $10 for something I've never heard. I'd rather that a band recorded at a cheap-ish record studio and got a few songs recorded. If they then have something worth listening to then I would gladly pre-pay the $10, though I still think $30000 just to record an album is a bit much. I've preferred the recordings we made at £14 an hour to the time we spent £750 for a couple of days of recording and mixing - though the guy at that place obviously just sucked at mixing, it was far too bass heavy so that didn't help my opinion of fancy equipment and recording rates..

BLU (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647226)

I guess people still do value high-quality (as in encoded) music.

Sure hope they didn't artificially compress the range and fk it up.

Re:BLU (4, Insightful)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647240)

Obviously you've never heard Nine Inch Nails live, or on CD for that matter. Trent doesn't need to artificially 'noise himself', really. He does that well enough on his own (with the help of his ever changing band, of course)

I'd say go and download his music, and you'll see what I mean.

Re:BLU (1)

badpauly (1158327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647402)

And download one can. Trent/NIN have all their back-catalogue (plus non-release and fan-mixes) available for download at the remix section of their site, something few bands even consider.

Re:BLU (3, Informative)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647630)

Erm... No, they don't. Trent has put the REMIX albums up online mostly, as well as instrumental versions of a lot of Downward Spiral onward material. Also there's FINALLY a good quality version of Butch Vig's remix of "Last" which was only ever available in a fucking nasty sounding recording before.

The actual original albums (Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, Downward Spiral, The Fragile etc...) are NOT on there for download.

The new album is interesting. Downloads were a REAL problem but I finally got my FLAC download. WOO!

Re:BLU (1)

badpauly (1158327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647662)

Hmmm... just checked and you seem to be right. I would swear on a favourite non-religious book that at least Broken and Downward Spiral (and maybe The Fragile) were also there at one point post-launch however. As for downloads, once I got to the point of it starting, I had a great download speed, and this was about 3-hours after launch... having it running off a different server, and hardly anyone able to get a payment through had its advantages ;)

Re:BLU (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647438)

I haven't heard him for a while, but does he still sound like he needs a cocoa and a blankie?

Re:BLU (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647692)

He's come along a fair bit, actually. On the last album, Year Zero, he stopped whining about how terrible his life was, and switched to accusing George Bush of being a nasty man.

On this new one, it's all instrumental, so you don't have to put up with him complaining about anything at all...

(FAO flamers: I've got a reasonably complete (bought and paid for) NIN collection and have enjoyed seeing him live too. The above is purely in self-deprecation)

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Not that surprising. (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647242)

Is it such a surprise that this way of selling an album makes a lot of profit? One part is given away for free, if you want them all, you pay 5$, that's peanuts. And the biggest profit maker of them all: All the people in the middle are cut out. Especially the record companies and the *IAA people. Once artists start to realise that this is the way to go, the big companies and *IAA will be were they should have been a long time ago: flat on their asses.

Re:Not that surprising. (5, Insightful)

klingens (147173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647276)

Labels, retail outlets, etc are cut out, replaced by creditcard agencies, CD-R manufactucters, ink makers, webhosters and ISPs. Overall the new middlemen are more efficient and differect, yes, but they are still middlemen.

One role that the "new middlemen" fill very well is promotion, the traditional role of the label. NIN is in a good position right now since the whole media does that for free for them: they are an established act and do something new and to spite the established power structure. So it's news and gets reported generating publicity. New bands won't have that luxury unfortunately.

Re:Not that surprising. (5, Insightful)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647422)

Labels, retail outlets, etc are cut out, replaced by creditcard agencies, CD-R manufactucters, ink makers, webhosters and ISPs. Overall the new middlemen are more efficient and differect, yes, but they are still middlemen.

One role that the "new middlemen" fill very well is promotion, the traditional role of the label. NIN is in a good position right now since the whole media does that for free for them: they are an established act and do something new and to spite the established power structure. So it's news and gets reported generating publicity. New bands won't have that luxury unfortunately.
I like your comparison, labels are cut out, however you go wrong after that. Retail outlets are free to purchase the CD, and have the buying power to most likely purchase it for less than we can. So they haven't been cut out. Credit card agencies, cd-r manufacturers, ink makers, web hosters and ISPs aren't the replacement. These were there in the other system, so that makes the other system not just inefficient but grossly inefficient.

Before:
  1. Retail outlets
  2. Labels (Recording company)
  3. Labels (Publishers)
  4. Credit Card Agencies
  5. CD-R manufacturers
  6. ink makers
  7. web hosters
  8. ISPs


After:
  1. Retail outlets
  2. Credit Card Agencies
  3. CD-R manufacturers
  4. ink makers
  5. web hosters
  6. ISPs


It's not that big of a change, however it's far better for their customers, much more efficient and in turn far better for them.

Re:Not that surprising. (2, Insightful)

fearx (19408) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647826)

It's not that big of a change, however it's far better for their customers, much more efficient and in turn far better for them.
I would have to disagree with this statement. Many customers experienced issues downloading the material from the nin.com servers. Of those that did, many did not receive as much as an email from the customer support staff after letting them know that their downloads had failed and the limit allotted to their session id was reached. I am one of those people.

So although it is nice for an artist to go on his own, I think customer service at least in this instance is not there. Lets look at some other models of buying music as examples.

1) If I were to step into a FYE and buy an album, I know I can return it back to that retailer if the disc is scratched of if I have other issues with the disc. At the very least I will be told I can not return the product rather than being ignored.

2) If I were to purchase a song or album from iTunes and the download failed, I have a method of reporting the failed download. They state it will take 24 hours to receive a response, but you know what? You actually get a response and any times that I have had issues, they reset the download. Not only that, but I had purchased some ADC (Apple Developer Connection) videos and internet connectivity where I was at sucked and it kept getting disconnected, once I returned home I was able to download the successfully. I thought nothing of it, 2 days later I received a phone call from an ADC rep asking if I was able to receive the files. That is good customer service.

BTW, I opted for the $75 version of the package.

Re:Not that surprising. (1)

mAIsE (548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647474)

Those middle men were there before, this is just a reduction in the number of middle men.

The RIAA has gone a long way toward destroying itself, deep gaffes that it won't fully understand for 10 years.

Re:Not that surprising. (4, Informative)

babbling (952366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647518)

creditcard agencies, CD-R manufactucters, ink makers, webhosters and ISPs

They're all necessary, though. The point is that the unnecessary middle-men are gone.

Re:Not that surprising. (1)

G-forze (1169271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647536)

One role that the "new middlemen" fill very well is promotion, the traditional role of the label. NIN is in a good position right now since the whole media does that for free for them: they are an established act and do something new and to spite the established power structure. So it's news and gets reported generating publicity. New bands won't have that luxury unfortunately.
Well, as I see it these already known artists will eventually come to the conclusion that it does not make sense for them all to have their own websites for the downloads and sales, and will merge to form bigger coordinated sites for that purpose. This will give smaller bands the the opportunity to sell their music on the same sites in exchange for a fee - but still nothing like the fee that record companies take which is, I think, in the range of 99% of sales. This system will be naturally fitted with systems for discovering similar music to that which you like, and voilá! The promotional part is arranged. Top it all with a 20 dollar/month subscription and these small bands will have all the downloads they ever dreamed of. And if they really are good then the fans will also order their albums from the same site, come see their conserts and so on.

Re:Not that surprising. (4, Insightful)

WNight (23683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647546)

There are costs, but middlemen are people between you and the customer. Here it seems like Trent could walk down the street handing out CDs and collecting money, all of which he gets to keep.

I don't mind businesses existing to do middlemen things, but I do mind the exclusive way they act and how all services are bundled. If you want shelf space in any store, you take the full line of RIAA 'services' for 95% of the profit.

In the future, ideally, even if you end up paying 95% of your revenue in services, it'll be to people you choose for services you actually want. In that market a smart business owner could make a lot more money by handling the arrangement of these services and skimping on stuff they don't want.

For instance, album art. That may have mattered on records (large area) and for retail sales, but what's the point of some little picture associated with the MP3/Ogg? There's a savings for the e-market only musician.

Re:Not that surprising. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647412)

I haven't kept up with NIN/Reznor much in a number of years, so I'd never heard of "Ghost". I just saw an article in my feed reader 24 to 48 hours ago and immediately hopped on Amazon to drop my $5 on it. I mean, come on.. it's $5 for 36 tracks. Even if it isn't the best stuff ever (and it is just instrumentals, of course), it's still not a rip off.

The thing is, if it was $10 or $15 or $20 for an album, I would have just looked around on bittorrent and downloaded it. I'm not willing to pay a dollar a song for 99% of the things I'm interested in and I'm sure not interested in paying $20 for a CD (I haven't bought a CD other than via cdbaby or a band directly in a decade). HOWEVER, I was more than happy to put my $5 up. And I would have possibly been interested in buying the signed limited edition kit with the bluray content and everything. Of course, that sold out before I could get around to it... but the point is that Trent got $5 from me versus $0. And he got it from me more than eagerly. And almost got me to spend another $300 just to add to my collection.

Granted, big names can afford to do such things, but their venturing out into these different methods of distribution and marketing and fan orientation opens up doors for new guys and smaller guys who, even if they could have done this on their own five years ago, will be taken more seriously if multi-platinum money-machines are doing it, too.

Good news, but how good? (5, Insightful)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647244)

That is good news for artists who want to publish their own music. Clearly such a business model can be successful for the artist.

However, is this success likely to be duplicated? Is it just because this concept is so novel that so many people were willing to pay so much for the special edition? Would that many people line up to buy the special edition of his next album? Are other artists as likely to experience this success once such things become more mainstream and less unique?

Part of the criteria that people use in deciding the value of something is how rare and unusual it is, and since this is one of the first such instances of an artist-produced album, I wonder if the profits that Trent Reznor has enjoyed here will be sustainable for other artists.

Consider: all of the people who paid $300 for his special edition release, probably listen to many other artists as well. Would they spend $300, or anything close to it, for special edition releases of albums from all the other artists they like? Probably not; most almost certainly couldn't afford to pay $300 x N artists x M albums; Trent was savvy enough to do it first, so he gets to enjoy what is likely an unsustainable pricing model.

I'm not trying to belittle his accomplishment, which is awesome (although I personally wouldn't know a Trent Reznor song from a Barry Manilow song, I'm glad that someone is pushing the boundaries for music distribution and trying to fix the music publishing system), I'm just trying to point out that anyone who thinks that all artists can be this successful, need to realize that this is unlikely to be duplicated, based on purely economic considerations.

Re:Good news, but how good? (5, Funny)

Orlando (12257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647272)

although I personally wouldn't know a Trent Reznor song from a Barry Manilow song

I guarentee that if I played you one of each you would know the difference :)

Re:Good news, but how good? (5, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647688)

"although I personally wouldn't know a Trent Reznor song from a Barry Manilow song"

"I guarentee that if I played you one of each you would know the difference :)"

Yeah, one is dark, morbid and disturbing, then there's Trent Reznor's music.

Re:Good news, but how good? (4, Informative)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647294)

The other prices are astounding:

Free download of 9 songs, with 40-page PDF.
$5 for a one-time-download in one of 3 DRM-free formats, including PDF and many digital extras (wallpapers, etc)
$10 for songs on 2 CDs, PLUS the download
$75 for songs on CDs, plus DVD with all tracks in all digital formats, plus BluRay disc with HD audio and slideshow, plus download

The $5/$10 price points set new precedents... especially considering this is 36 tracks. That's far cheaper than iTunes or normal CDs.

Re:Good news, but how good? (2, Interesting)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647566)

What I don't understand is why he didn't offer the whole thing on bit torrent as opposed to 1/4 of it. The whole album is licensed under creative commons, so all the piratebay torrents are totally legal. Why isn't he running his own tracker with a few ads here and there to make a few extra bucks off the freeloaders instead of letting piratebay get the ad revenue?

It's not that he needs the money, but it would set a better example than the admittedly spectacular one he's already setting. Speaking of setting examples, why isn't he taking his immense wealth and starting a brand new record label based on this tiered style of distribution? (e.g. all you can drink free downloads for the freeloaders in exchange for some ad revenue and high quality spiffy packaging for the paying customers.)

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647642)

Maybe he does not like doing business but he likes to make music?

Re:Good news, but how good? (3, Interesting)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647678)

Maybe.

But if ever there was a man in the perfect position to lead a revolution in the music industry it's Trent Reznor. He's become the de facto figurehead for progress in the music business. And he has all he needs to successfully lead such a revolution: 1. immense fame, 2. immense critical acclaim, 3. a willingness to experiment with radical new business models, and 4. gobs of money to serve as venture capital.

Aside from the possibilities of being totally unaware of his potential or unfortunately unwilling lead the movement as you imply is possible, I can conjure up no reasons as to why he hasn't tried already.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647790)

Perhaps he is leading by example: Showing that art can sell itself, even if you let everyone look at, or listen to it.

Re:Good news, but how good? (4, Interesting)

stephend (1735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647708)

Yet, as The Register notes, despite the low price "Pirate Bay has eight thousand concurrent downloads at time of writing [theregister.co.uk]." Even if you ignore the RIAA-style maths in calculating lost earnings it's not a good sign that people are not prepared to pay even $5 for 4 CDs worth of music in a DRM-free format.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647788)

It's not anything we can do anything about though.

Those who want to have the cookie for free will always be around.

The worst thing I think we can do about it, is throwing money down the drain like the RIAA does, instead of having that spending go to the artist instead.

Re:Good news, but how good? (4, Informative)

LRayZor (872596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647800)

Well as someone who paid the $5, but had the download fail every time after about the first 100 or so kilobytes, the torrent seemed to be the best way to solve the problem.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647768)

I agree, I guess these are the prices we will start to see when the middle men are being cut.

It really gives you an idea of how much revenue is lost before it finally trickles down to the hands of the artist!

Re:Good news, but how good? (4, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647314)

Consider: all of the people who paid $300 for his special edition release, probably listen to many other artists as well. Would they spend $300, or anything close to it, for special edition releases of albums from all the other artists they like?

No, but all of those that didn't spend $300, but only bought the cheap $5 version, are also listening to a lot of other bands, and would probably buy the $300 collectors edition from some other artist that they love. As you say, people don't have the money to spend $300 on every artist they want to hear, no matter what RIAA claims. Most people do want to spend some amount of money on culture though, and things like this shows that they will do that, even if they can get the content for free by other means.

Re:Good news, but how good? (3, Insightful)

RSA7474 (1163263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647368)

His success is highly supported by the fan base he already had, which was in turn partly because of his prior label and manager.

The internet makes it easier for people to find music, but still not at the scale radio play will get them. If an artist signs onto a big label such as Universal, and the label buys them radio time, they will become popular.

To get to my point, this model may be innovative and inspiring, but it isn't going to work for Joe band that records in their basement and tries to market their album for free or pay.

Re:Good news, but how good? (5, Insightful)

badpauly (1158327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647428)

The fan-base may be due to the label, but the 'anti-label' mentality that Trent/NIN has is also due to the label. TR/NIN has been pushed by the labels, as most bands have, for his entire career. His second release almost never made it, with the label blocking all attempts at recording, and resulted in him recording in secret, at his expense, in order to complete. That release won him a Grammy. His label attempted to block him appearing on an EP, resulting in the releasing artist distorting his vocals and claiming it was someone else. These are just two of many instances where the label tried to block the artist, while complaining the artist doesn't do enough for them. And they then wonder why the bands fight back? TR/NIN now have almost everything they have released available for free download, are now releasing music in a non-traditional manner, and making a damn good show of it. A few more releases from a few more bands like this, and we will hopefully see the death of the old-school mentality in record labels, and a shift towards a fairer industry that will benefit all parties - and not just the suits on the top-floors of the labels.

Re:Good news, but how good? (2, Interesting)

rjcarr (1002407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647418)

I liked your comment but you're making a bad assumption:

"Would they spend $300, or anything close to it, for special edition releases of albums from all the other artists they like?"

Sure, many people listen to dozens if not hundreds of different artists, but when asked, they'd say they only have 1 or 2 or a few favorites. It seems NIN are favorites to 750,000 / 300 fans, but there might be just as many Barry Manilow fans willing to pay just as much and sell just as many copies.

The intersection of this fan base is likely to be very small, though. :)

Re:Good news, but how good? (4, Insightful)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647420)

I think that those of us who paid $300+ dollars ($383 to get it to the UK and I expect I'll have import duty to pay on top of that) are the die hard NIN fans. There are maybe two or three other bands that I'd drop that kind of cash on for a single release and I don't think it has anything to do with the business model. NIN are a band that have a lot of very rabid fans and then a lot of others who like their stuff and will happily pay for the $5 or $10 package. Then there are those who will spend the $5 just an a screw you to the RIAA and to show support for the model.

All cult music acts could produce something in this price range and the hardcore will buy it, but I suspect that 2500 was the right number to produce for this. I'm sure they could have sold 5000 copies, but at that point you're probably pushing the market limit of people willing to spend $300 on one album.

Re:Good news, but how good? (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647498)

I'm just trying to point out that anyone who thinks that all artists can be this successful, need to realize that this is unlikely to be duplicated, based on purely economic considerations.
There are few things I think you should consider. First FTA:

Each Limited Edition is numbered and personally signed by Trent Reznor. Strictly Limited to 2500 pieces. Limit one per customer.
You question whether this is a sustainable business model for the rest of the artists, since you postulate that this is a one time reaction to a novel idea.

I would ask this question instead. Is it reasonable to assume that there are 2,500 "hardcore" Nine Inch Nails fans?

The answer, IMO, is yes. I am just like you, and I am not a Nine Inch Nails fan to the point that I can identify their songs on the radio. However, I do know there are plenty of people that love their music. I would be surprised if 5,000 people did not buy the limited edition.

Now I am a big fan of some other bands. Their names are not important. What is important, is that I would consider spending $75 or even $300 on a limited edition album they produce. Especially, since I know that it is direct to the artist, no godless fucking burn-in-the-fiery-pits-of-hell middleman media exec scum (insert more rage against the big media machine here). I would not do it for many, that is sure, but people like me are the reason why I say the limited edition price point will be sustainable. It is just statistics. If a band is popular enough, they will have a small percentage of people willing to pay the higher price points for whatever reason you want to postulate as to why.

So I believe that you are wrong in your assessment that this is unlikely to be repeated. I think that you are correct, in that most fans listen to many artists and have only so much money to spend, and that there are economic considerations here. However, we have not heard what the numbers are for the 5$ and 10$ price points yet. It may turn out to be that it is entirely possible for popular artists to sell competitive price points with iTunes, Amazon, etc. and yet also sell a few thousand die hard fans the much higher price points.

Trent Reznor is also not the first to offer it for free either. Rainbow Whatamacallit band (no offense, i just have no idea which band did it) did something like that awhile ago too. Trent is just adding some price points to it that people can choose right off the bat with different levels of the product being available. Whether or not the next artist is the 2nd to do this, or the 22nd will probably not affect the people that will buy it just to make a statement against DRM either. Point in fact, I am ONE OF THEM.

I can also see a huge appeal to bypass Big Entertainment, and deal with Artists directly. To say that the RIAA and the MPAA (MAFIAA) have done a lot of damage with public relations, is a whopper of an understatement. There is a backlash against them right now and the whole paradigm they shove down our throats that we "don't own our music" and cannot do what we want with it. So there may be a huge number of people, that although not paying for music now, will rush to the Internet to support the "cause" and their favorite Artists. Combine those people, with the people that make up the sales on Amazon and iTunes alone, and that represents a huge amount of potential business.

Your question is certainly insightful, however I think you are wrong in your assessment.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647652)

Each Limited Edition is numbered and personally signed by Trent Reznor. Strictly Limited to 2500 pieces. Limit one per customer.

I would be surprised if 5,000 people did not buy the limited edition.

Wow, that has to be some kind of first. You read the article, but failed to read your own comment. :-)

Re:Good news, but how good? (2, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647702)

LOL.

Wow, that has to be some kind of first. You read the article, but failed to read your own comment. :-)
Back at Ya :)

Is says the limit is one per customer, I was stating that I would not be surprised if 5,000 people would not be interested in attempting to purchase it, obviously one at a time.

My point being, that the limit of 2,500 pieces could be raised to 5,000 pieces and still be sold out.

You can take your foot of your mouth now, I'll wait :)

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647682)

Now I am a big fan of some other bands. Their names are not important.

...(insert more rage against the big media machine here)...
Subtle, i like it... :)

Re:Good news, but how good? (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647516)

Are other artists as likely to experience this success once such things become more mainstream and less unique?

Part of the criteria that people use in deciding the value of something is how rare and unusual it is, and since this is one of the first such instances of an artist-produced album, I wonder if the profits that Trent Reznor has enjoyed here will be sustainable for other artists.

Of course other artists won't be as successful. Of course these types of profits aren't sustainable. Is that a bad thing?

These guys are entertainers, and yet a lot of people seem to think that they automatically deserve to be multi-millionaires. That's insane. They don't build houses for people to live in. They don't grow food for people to eat. They don't advance our understanding of the world. They are modern day jesters, a distraction when you have nothing better to do.

I like music as much as the next person, but please let us have some perspective here. If musicians don't make a lot of money, that's absolutely fine. A million bucks is something a musician should work a lifetime to achieve, not something they can pick up from a year's work with one album. And it's sure as hell not society's job to subsidise them with copyrights until they are filthy rich.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647712)

Says who?

It's long been fairly well understood that the way to become rich is to produce one small thing that everyone wants, and sell it everywhere cheaply. Usually business majors think in terms of things like razors and blades, or deodorant, or beer, but if you consider musicians and authors, you get a more illustrative example.

A musician makes music, which is sold on CD for about ten bucks; an author writes a book, which is printed and sells for 5.00 to 30.00. Both are cheap enough that everyone can afford a copy, and both represent the sort of thing we buy to make our lives FUN, as opposed to just tolerable. In both cases, millions of copies of the item can be produced and sold. And millions of 10.00 sales result in millions of dollars of profit.

There's NOTHING wrong with that; your problem is you can't do it yourself! I read your post and I hear a guy who despises those who do what he cannot, and would spite them their just rewards for their hard work. All you anti-copyright people are the same way... You can't create anything new or interesting yourself, so you want to pretend it's some great injustice for society to support people who CAN. What bollocks.

 

Re:Good news, but how good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647532)

If you have something to sell that nobody wants to buy....

Welcome to the real world. Just because you're a musician doesn't mean you are magically allowed to get money for nothing. That's the RIAA's job.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647606)

It will be difficult to sustain sales of special editions of whole albums at this pricing, but there will probably be a sustainable market for single songs at equivalent pricing levels. Perhaps even a market for selling individual tracks separately for remixxing.

When NIN released this, I thought it would be a great development for bedroom DJs and aspiring producers who live in small towns, too far removed from the music scene in-crowd to get access to this sort of thing normally. I'm disappointed that it has sold out so quickly, the limited nature of it prevents the kind of revolution I was thinking it could lead to.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

ElBeano (570883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647650)

Another way to frame the question is whether an unknown band can use this kind of marketing, with their own website as the primary sales channel for their music, and reach the level of notoriety of NIN or Radiohead. It is theoretically possible, but I dare say that none have done it... yet. A followup questions is whether a positive answer to that question is really that important. The end of the megaband is hardly the end of music. I happen to think that they will still surface because I see them as more of a phenomena of human psychology then a product of the labels.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647658)

Consider: all of the people who paid $300 for his special edition release, probably listen to many other artists as well. Would they spend $300, or anything close to it, for special edition releases of albums from all the other artists they like? Probably not; most almost certainly couldn't afford to pay $300 x N artists x M albums; Trent was savvy enough to do it first, so he gets to enjoy what is likely an unsustainable pricing model.

Probably not. By definition, the special edition is only really going to appeal to really big fans who probably aren't that passionate about more than a couple of bands.

And yes, $300 is a lot of money. But NIN were offering a fair bit for it - the whole album on vinyl, CD, DVD and BluRay, cloth-bound books signed by Trent and a box that it all came in.

Re:Good news, but how good? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647730)

I'm a NIN fan, but not a $300 NIN fan myself. I'm saying thank you very much Trent for the free torrents under the CC licence, buying the local CD release next month (it's less hassle and no more expensive than trying to get it through the website, thanks to the international postage option he's chosen) and that's all. I did spend $5 on the Saul Williams thing, and £14 on Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D just before Christmas, so I'm still a fair bit of a fan.

If Underworld (who sold exclusive download-only packages on their website before Trent did, by the way) shove up a similarly priced fancy set of their next album with Gilcee prints as well, though, you can count me in (if I get in quick enough; they're another band that inspire obsession, and the Tomato factor would sell it anyway), and I already have Radiohead's fancy box version of In Rainbows.

There are lots of people who will hand over serious cash for their favourite bands, yes. A lot more overall than the 2500 who bought this one. You're right that this 2500 won't do it very often, but other bands have other fans.

Re:Good news, but how good? (4, Insightful)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647808)

Would they spend $300, or anything close to it, for special edition releases of albums from all the other artists they like? Probably not
No, maybe not them, but maybe 750 of the biggest fans of that other band that didn't like NIN would. In fact, maybe some of the NIN 750 would too, you'd be surprised.

The point is, with all these different pricing schemes, NIN is doing what marketers would call segmenting the market to attain better pricing discrimination [wikipedia.org], getting the most out of consumers by getting them to pay more for the album if they value it more. Bigger fans will pay more, while most people are more price sensitive, etc. This means that NIN is getting more money overall than if they had released the album at just $10.

While doing something like this at a retail store is very hard logistically because brick-and-mortar store would need to keep multiple SKU's in stock for each item (and the rare few $750 fans would be few and far between, so the package might sit for a very long time before being discounted or sent back), in a central online retail store this is a lot more practical. Not only is NIN cutting out the RIAA middleman, they're also cutting out the retail middleman, while setting up different price points so that they get the most value out of each customer. Clever, Trent.

What we can learn from this (3, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647246)

In order to make huge amounts of money, artists should charge huge amounts for their music.

Re:What we can learn from this (4, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647312)

*ESTABLISHED* artists should charge large amounts for their music.

The problem with all these experiments is they involve artists who at some point had the backing of a record company.

We've yet to see any artist make big bucks without, at some point, the benefit of the record company marketing machine.

Re:What we can learn from this (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647560)

We've yet to see any artist make big bucks without, at some point, the benefit of the record company marketing machine.
Yes. This is still the glaring hole in the plan. It's true for indie filmmakers too -- and actually, any individual creative enterprise on the web, blogs even.

Marketing needs to break free from the dinosaurs. I'm not sure that anyone in advertising or marketing has really, truly understood the Internet yet. They all seem to be thinking in old media models. It's curious that some young enterprising marketing person has figured that out, it's not as though there's any technological barrier to that happening. Even basing marketing around the theatrical agent model would work. Someone just has to be the pioneer. A very rich someone, ultimately.

Re:What we can learn from this (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647724)

My brother has a band, and is able to make himself known via YouTube. I am sure that if he plays it smart he can sell his music for additional income.

I think it is much easier now, with something like YouTube, to become known. Exploiting this fact will still take some work, to organise and play performances. But at least, with this way of working, you already know that there are people who like your music and you can choose the spots to perform with a higher rate of success upfront.

Re:What we can learn from this (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647496)

Um. Reznor is an established artist and he's making huge amounts of money from his music without charging huge amounts of money for it. You misrepresent what is going on. THE MUSIC is $5 for 36 tracks. He is charging decidedly SMALL amounts for the music. What he's charging "huge" amounts of money for is a collector's item that includes high quality copies of the music, PLUS a bunch of video and audio content on bluray and some other miscellaneous stuff... SIGNED (there's a chunk of the value right there).

Yes, he maid $750k from 2,500 fans who willingly handed it over for the special item. He'll make FAR more than that in the long run if even only a fraction of the fans pony up the $5 for the music alone. And of course, since he's distributing it himself (via amazon, etc) he'll be pulling down far more cash than with a couple of points to his contract with a major label distribution.

Cardiologist's dream (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647250)

At least the ones in California. I'm absolutely certain that several doctors will be getting emergency visits in the coming days from **AA executives.

The smile on Trent's face should be worth a few pictures. ZOMG!! if you give consumers a choice and don't try to screw them over, they really do pay for stuff... WTF?

This was an experiment for Trent, but it cost the **AA more than he could have ever imagined. Yes, I did say **AA. Believe me when I say they are watching what happens to the RIAA with great interest.

Now, all of the **AA pretty much has to admit they got it wrong. They won't admit it of course, but you know how that conversation is going to go in the board room. 'I told you so' is the magic phrase that attracts flying chairs... or something like that

Re:Cardiologist's dream (3, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647324)

This was an experiment for Trent, but it cost the **AA more than he could have ever imagined. Yes, I did say **AA. Believe me when I say they are watching what happens to the RIAA with great interest.

And the real kicker? This was also experimental music. Imagine the profit margin if he had used his normal material.

Eh, what exactly does this prove? (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647358)

That limited editions sell? That is NOTHING NEW. They ALWAYS SOLD, which is why you can't move for special editions. The RIAA KNOWS that limited box sets sell, all this does is confirm it.

The limited box set being available for 300 dollars is NOT the news item, neither is him making lots of money by selling directly to the consumer, the RIAA knows this as well. They KNOW you make the most money if you are the one doingthe selling, that is why they want to continue doing the selling.

The new bit was the rather large free sample andhis relaxed attitude to copying the rest, but again, a lot of artists have been relaxed about copyright from the start. It is the music labels that think copying is evil!

So by all means, cheer the eventual death of the major record labels and their fronts, but don't think that a limited box set making lots of money for the guy selling it is going to suddenly wake them up. This is old news to them.

What a shock (5, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647270)

When people are given choices, they are often through their own free will kind to other human beings. There is no need for guns pointing at peoples heads to make us play nice and share - we will do it naturally if left alone.

Re:What a shock (4, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647392)

This is a very interesting point, especially if you take into consideration that the people who don't play nice in this setting, won't disrupt the nice people's experience, and thus there's no need for any punishment or law against it.

In the real world were the people who don't believe in imaginary property lives, anyone that doesn't play nice can cause a lot of harm to us that do, so sometimes we need to write laws preventing people from harming others.

you better thank /. (1)

miknix (1047580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647274)

We all know that ./ is an excellent distribution channel but it's now proven that all conventional music distributors and media protection entities are DEPRECATED.

- I hope other artists takes this as a lesson and start releasing albums this way as well.

I believe,,, (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647286)

I believe in a future without a need for labels. I believe that ever developing distribution channels will make it possible for all artists to sell their own works directly. I believe in a future without DRM. Will you believe? If enough will we'll end up with a self fulfilling prophecy on our hands...

Problems with the service (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647288)

I paid my $5 for the album download the day before yesterday, but still haven't managed to download my MP3s. The server took such a severe beating initially that the connection dropped consistently.. a snowball's chance in hell getting the album.

I decided to wait for the traffic to ease off, but later I've been greeted with an error message "Exceeded download limit" or "Please click the download link in your origi(o)nal email".

I've contacted NIN support twice for help. No response.

Should have known better. I'm surprised if I'm the only one with these problems.

Re:Problems with the service (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647608)

I paid my $5 for the album download the day before yesterday, but still haven't managed to download my MP3s. The server took such a severe beating initially that the connection dropped consistently.. a snowball's chance in hell getting the album.

I decided to wait for the traffic to ease off, but later I've been greeted with an error message "Exceeded download limit" or "Please click the download link in your origi(o)nal email".

I've contacted NIN support twice for help. No response.

Should have known better. I'm surprised if I'm the only one with these problems.


Then go torrent it [mininova.org]. It's licensed under creative commons [nin.com]. All those torrents are legal. Have fun.

Why Trent didn't set up his own bit torrent tracker and save boatloads of bandwidth is beyond me. A few ads on the free download page to make > 0 revenue off those opting for the free version wouldn't have hurt either.

This is great (4, Informative)

spandex_panda (1168381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647300)

I guess we all noticed that NiN have an official http://thepiratebay.org/tor/4059158/Nine_Inch_Nails_-_Ghosts_I_(2008)/ [thepiratebay.org] account, on which they host the free part I of the new album, in there they admit that

Undoubtedly you'll be able to find the complete collection on the same torrent network you found this file

This is the new wave of music and I am very soon going to order their $10 hard copy! The people who use this modern kind distribution need to be encouraged! Let us all at least pay $5 to support them, you know encourage more folks to use this kind of business model and embrace the future.

Re:This is great (1)

Kristoffer Lunden (800757) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647614)

This is the new wave of music and I am very soon going to order their $10 hard copy!

I did, even though it was actually $23 or $24 with shipping (to Sweden) and even though I never listen to the actual audio CDs (just rip from them).

I figured it'd be nice to have on the shelf anyways, and I felt like giving more than the $5. Don't know how much of the CD that is profit, but I hope there is some, at least.

Not even that great a NiN fan, though I like it well enough. But I felt this needed to be supported! I guess I would have had a real dilemma if had been Britney doing this move! :D

The artist's new choice (1)

crosbie (446285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647332)

The artist's choice:

Option 1) A tiny percentage of your publisher's profits for life - if you live long enough for their 'costs' to be recouped.

Option 2) 100% of your self-publishing profit this year, maybe next.

Not only is the share of profits better, the costs are better (despite smaller sales). The costs in option 1 are colossal, whereas in 2 they are miniscule, especially given unconstrained promotion and reproduction to (hopefully virally) foster a far bigger market next year and a consequently bigger revenue.

So, it's pretty clear why traditional publishers are keen to educate the next generation of their client base as to how precious a thing an artist's copyright is, and how despicable it is to copy an artist's work.

There will be a stampede soon when everyone realises option 2 is not too good to be true...

Convenience and Patronage (3, Insightful)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647366)

I think this shows the future of where, IMHO, the music industry, or at least individual artists, should be going: convenience and patronage. People are realizing that the inherent value of a CD, and especially of a downloaded mp3, is pretty close to $0. The main reason to spend money on an inherently worthless mp3 is for convenience: $1 and 1 minute to itunes, or $0 and searching the pirate bay / mucking with bittorrent. The other reason is because you genuinely like the music and want to support the band, so give them money for the sake of giving them money.

This NIN experiment shows it clearly: there's $0 of inherent value in the songs themselves, as they are CC licensed and can legally be copied. For the convenience factor $5 or $10 gets you the mp3s or 4 CDs - pretty hard to beat (ignoring NIN's site being hammered the last few days). The $75 set is clearly patronage; you get the shiny book and some extra CDs with it, but you're really spending the money because you want to give NiN the money. The $300 level is an odd one, as it's a combination of patronage and market speculation for resale.

I hope this works. But for the secondary effects. (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647456)

I don't buy modern music, but just because I don't hear it. However, I do hope that musicians finally manage to remove the middle man and start distributing their own music and receiving the full payment.

The main reason of this hope is not for my love for musicians but for the effect this can have in every other business based in mass distribution of copies of a data item.

Photography, novels, software, all may find ways of receiving direct payment from the consumer.

Slightly offtopic, but... (3, Interesting)

Aaron Isotton (958761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647492)

I really hope that this trend continues. I'd love to see something like this:

An online music store with all kinds of music (like the iTunes store), but:

- No DRM *at all*.
- Previews as MP3. Say, the first 30 secs of every track. The first 50% would be better. Should be "kind of good quality", say >= 128kbit.
- All tracks in at least the following formats:
    - MP3 "good quality", say >= 256 kbit
    - Lossless in a free, open format. Flac in other words.
- The ability to use the store from the web.
- The ability to put multiple tracks in a "cart" and download the whole cart as a zip would be a big plus.
- An open API for different clients would be a huge plus.
- And, last but not least, the ability to have some sort of "account" and to re-download tracks I already purchased, whenever, wherever and how many times I want to.

It would be ok if the tracks are somehow watermarked, i.e. if they can tell from a file which user downloaded a track and block his or her account if they are redistributing the tracks.

I would also appreciate formats "better than CD", e.g. Flac tracks in DVD Audio quality (24 bit, 96 kHz if I'm not mistaken). I'd also appreciate album covers and similar stuff.

I am prepared to pay for a quality product I can use for years to come. I am not prepared to pay for some badly encoded track I can use on few specific players, and I do *not* want to re-buy everything if I switch players/want higher quality etc.

Just had to say that.

Re:Slightly offtopic, but... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647706)

I consider thepiratebay the preview site and full length mp3s the previews.

It's just that noone has been supplying me with the full FLAC quality for a reasonable price, until now.

Damn it feels good to be a rockstar (1)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647502)

For 2,500 signatures, he must have been at it for a while. Still, I wish I could be paid 750k for signing stuff for a day, all while taking a break every ten minutes to pork on groupies. Still, you have to wonder how the little guys could make it with this system. A damn good idea would be to start a website for free audio publishing that has it's new artists ranked so that people with talent can climb the latter quickly. Still a lot of work would have to go into it to get publicity and make it better than youtube quality.

"Music" Experiment? (1)

Schiphol (1168667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647504)

When I saw the headline in my RSS reader, I thought I was going to find something about daring music being released and, even so, capturing the attention of the audience. But oh no, the "experiment" in question is on SKUs and price segmentation. It's somewhat wrong that these two things are conflated. The supermarket in my neighbourhood has been doing some mineral-water experiments: buy three and pay just two, you see.

Re:"Music" Experiment? (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647570)

Actually, the music itself is experimental. You'd know that if you'd taken the time to click the link, and maybe download the free sample of 9 tracks.

Re:"Music" Experiment? (1)

Schiphol (1168667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647612)

What link exactly? The first one takes to a /. article which openly talks about a "yet another new business experiment"; the second takes to NIN's order form; the third to a techdirt.com article with the title "NIN sells out of 300$ deluxe edition in under two days".

If the music itself is experimental, I'm happy to stand corrected, but the point remains that the focus of article and discussion is clearly about the business experiment and the headline talks about "music experiment" referring to that other non-musical "experiment".

I will give the album a shot, though, Andrew. Thanks.

can better social networking between artists help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647524)

With information (and supportive people) more accessible these days, is it possible to totally bypass middlemen and get the right people talking together? That sounds like things could be done far cheaper and far more efficiently.

Plus a few other relevant points:

- Viral marketing is effective and inexpensive.
- We've already established that the digital media distributers are taking bigger cuts of the artist's profits, even though the technology permits easier distribution
- We all hate those frigging Mafiaa suits and they're probably the kind of pretentious toffs we wouldn't want to hang round with anyway.

Ghosts I-IV FLAC torrent download here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647554)

"Ghosts I-IV is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license."

Excellent, and here it is for download in FLAC!

http://thepiratebay.org/tor/4061815/Nine_Inch_Nails_-_Ghosts_I-IV_%5B2008_FLAC_Lossless%5D [thepiratebay.org]

Stop modding parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647620)

"Ghosts I-IV is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license."

Excellent, and here it is for download in FLAC!

http://thepiratebay.org/tor/4061815/Nine_Inch_Nails_-_Ghosts_I-IV_%5B2008_FLAC_Lossless%5D [thepiratebay.org]


FYI mods:

The parent comment is not wrong. The whole album is CC licensed and therefore all the piratebay torrents, even the unofficial ones, are totally legal.

Depends on where you live (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647600)

I would have liked to buy the 2-CD set. Unfortunately, the shipping was more than $13, to Europe. Well, guess I will have to wait until it is in the shops here. The last couple of years, Reznor seems to bring out his albums around my birthday, which is nice of course :).

heh. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22647744)

I wonder how the **AA will blame this on digital piracy and those pesky college kids...?

This, coupled with the fact that some major studios have pulled some **AA funding, and the fact that they have attempted to make money buy pissing off their user base (hopefully) spells the end for the **AA.

In the words of Monty Python "and there was much rejoicing!"

Proving that music is like bagels... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22647840)

People might like to read the story of a man who sold bagels using the honor system [nytimes.com]. He went to workplaces in the morning, left a bunch of bagels and a money box then picked up the money and left over bagels later. Contrary to what the RIAA/MPAA would have you believe would happen in a situation like this, the guy makes a decent living and most people voluntarily pay for their bagels. Interestingly, his losses due to non-payment are almost certainly less than the overhead cost would be of using a system that prevented bagel theft / non-payment (e.g. vending machines, point of sale systems, staff, etc.)
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