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Tremendous Upside w/ Dave & Niraj

Get the new Nine Inch Nails album...36 high-quality tracks for $5Music
Yep, there's a new NIN album's a 2-CD album, with 36 tracks. And it's yours for 5 bucks! I've already mentioned how Trent Reznor is no longer under contract and wants to get creative with music distribution, cutting out the labels, high prices, and DRM that prevents you from using music freely on any device. To that end, he already distributed a Saul Williams album for free.

But this time, things are really at the next level. The album is available here. First off, you can get 9 tracks for free to see if you're even remotely interested in the album. If you are, you can get all 36 tracks for $5, and they're available in really high quality formats (including lossless formats that aren't degraded due to compression). You also get a 40 page book via PDF and a bunch of extras. You can also get the physical CDs if you want for $10 and though they don't ship until April, you still get the digital version of all the tracks right now. Their server is blowing up due to the news about this release spreading, but it's also available via Amazon for the same $5.

Click to expand image

And finally, the hardcore fan can get up to a $300 package which even includes the vinyl LP and is signed by Trent. With only 2500 of those being made, $300 is a great deal for true fans.

I'm a casual fan of NIN, and I find this incredibly awesome. One can only hope it catches on with more artists (Radiohead has tried similar online distribution).

And if all of this weren't enough, the entire album is published under a Creative Commons License permitting anyone to share and remix the album for non-commercial purposes.

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  • [Untitled]
    Posted by: junosand on Mar 3rd, 2008 | 09:44am

    i don't really care much about the music, but the innovation and creativity is wonderful. if only there were more people out there willing to try something new like this

    • [Untitled]
      Posted by: niraj on Mar 3rd, 2008 | 10:01am

      Exactly...this should interest anyone that's a fan of music, because it's the direction things are (extremely slowly) moving in. It's crazy to expect people to pay as much for digital tracks as a CD when you've removed the packaging and distribution steps from the equation. And using DRM to tie files to certain devices or impose rules on how you can use your purchase is asinine.

      As far as more bands doing this, I think part of the problem is that it's hard for smaller bands to do something like this, but as I've posted before there's some great alternatives for them such as Amie Street with innovative ways of letting independent artists distribute their music and get discovered directly by the fans.

      And the more popular and mainstream bands should start following this distribution model because it's win-win. The fans get high quality tracks, get it immediately, use it as they want, etc. The band likely makes significantly more money per purchase than they would through CD sales by a music label because there's no middleman.

      • [Untitled]
        Posted by: junosand on Mar 3rd, 2008 | 03:00pm

        it seems like the ones against this would be the middlemen and whoever distribute albums. i can see how record labels would be against this kind of thing because i'm sure they have tons of friends and business partners in the distribution (if not the record labels) that stand to lose money on this innovation.

        there are always a lot of people who like to stick with the old way of doing things because they know how to make money from it.

        my question: are movies next? will the same thing start to happen?

        • [Untitled]
          Posted by: niraj on Mar 3rd, 2008 | 03:45pm

          True, though I'm sure they get a decent cut of concerts and merchandise...I don't know how that compares to CD sales though.

          I don't think the same thing can happen with movies because it's a lot harder to make something great without significant investment and marketing. The films made on a small budget barely ever make it big. It's a possibility, but I think with movies there's a lot more dependence on movie studios.

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