AfterDawn: Tech news

New NIN release includes a partial free download and variable pricing

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 04 Mar 2008 3:07 User comments (16)

New NIN release includes a partial free download and variable pricing Trent Reznor, who last year was involved in an experiment to distribute an album he produced for Saul Williams by giving downloaders the option to either pay nothing for MP3s or $5 for CD quality tracks, has started experimenting with his own music. After his disappointment at the small number of people willing to pay for Williams' work he's opted not to offer the new 36 Track Nine Inch Nails (NIN) release, Ghosts I-IV, completely free. Instead, the first disc (Ghosts I) is available for free via BitTorrent. An accompanying 40 page PDF file containing 40 pages of photographs can even be requested from the official NIN website.
If you're interested in getting Ghosts II-IV you'll have to pay at least a little. In fact you can get all four volumes from Amazon.com's (DRM free) MP3 service for a mere $5. Other options include both physical (CD, DVD, and Blu-ray) versions, with accompanying digital downloads.

The official torrent Tracker on The Pirate Bay for the free download includes a message from Reznor himself. He outlines the free materials, including how to request the free PDF. He also gives some additional options for purchasing the additional three albums worth of material in various forms, and even acknowledges the reality that trackers for pirated copies of all four albums will no doubt be hosted along side the official release.

"Ghosts I is the first part of the 36 track collection Ghosts I-IV. Undoubtedly you'll be able to find the complete collection on the same torrent network you found this file, but if you're interested in the release, we encourage you to check it out at ghosts.nin.com, where the complete Ghosts I-IV is available directly from us in a variety of DRM-free digital formats, including FLAC lossless, for only $5. You can also order it on CD, or as a deluxe package with multitrack audio files, High Definition audio on Blu-ray disc, and a large hard-bound book."

So far the release has generated enough interest that online sales through the NIN website have been temporarily suspended due to more than three times the traffic originally anticipated. The servers are expected to be back up within a few hours. Until then, the free download is still available using BitTorrent, and downloads may still be purchased from Amazon.com.

More news

Previous Next

Related news

 

16 user comments

14.3.2008 6:16

Originally posted by vurbal:
Trent Reznor, who last year was involved in an experiment to distribute an album he produced for Saul Williams by giving downloaders the option to pay either $5 for MP3s or more for CD (or higher) quality tracks

Wasn't the experiment to offer the mp3's for free or pay money for the CD quality tracks?

Excuse me Rich if I am reading it wrong but it seems later in this article you do mention that the mp3's were previously free. I also recall reading in a previous news article that the experiment involved offering the mp3's for free and charging for the higher quality tracks. The paragraph I quoted states that they charged for both formats but higher for the CD quality tracks.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Mar 2008 @ 8:28

24.3.2008 6:33
varnull
Inactive

FLAC for $5.. I'll buy that Trent

34.3.2008 8:52

How bad is the record industry when an artist can make MORE from a $5 album than they could from a $16 CD???

Wow. I'll buy it just to support a savy artist with a clue that seems to understand the shift in the business.

44.3.2008 10:26

I'll support Trent in his visonairy quest to remove the power from the evil empire. Put control where it needs to be, in the hands of the individual artists. Rock on Trent.

54.3.2008 11:53
goodswipe
Inactive

Originally posted by jookycola:
How bad is the record industry when an artist can make MORE from a $5 album than they could from a $16 CD???

Wow. I'll buy it just to support a savy artist with a clue that seems to understand the shift in the business.
Pretty bad! There's just no justification in paying 16-20 dollars for a crap ass album. Usually there's only a few good songs on there anyways. So 5 dollars for a new CD sounds pretty reasonable to me.

I actually can't recall the last time I even payed for a CD(No I don't D/L), there just isn't any good music out there these days. I stick with all the oldies - good classic stuff that never goes bad!

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Old NIN
Radio Head
Old Metallica
Tool
Nirvana
STP

64.3.2008 12:42

It's sad when so many artists have little or nothing to do with thier own art once it's made.

I'll support Mr. Reznor on this one.




74.3.2008 13:33

Quote:
Originally posted by vurbal:
Trent Reznor, who last year was involved in an experiment to distribute an album he produced for Saul Williams by giving downloaders the option to pay either $5 for MP3s or more for CD (or higher) quality tracks

Wasn't the experiment to offer the mp3's for free or pay money for the CD quality tracks?

Excuse me Rich if I am reading it wrong but it seems later in this article you do mention that the mp3's were previously free. I also recall reading in a previous news article that the experiment involved offering the mp3's for free and charging for the higher quality tracks. The paragraph I quoted states that they charged for both formats but higher for the CD quality tracks.

Thanks for catching that. It was a last minute edit where I apparently un-corrected the original article ;-)

84.3.2008 15:03

Originally posted by blivetNC:
I'll support Trent in his visonairy quest to remove the power from the evil empire. Put control where it needs to be, in the hands of the individual artists. Rock on Trent.

Since I've listened to a couple of tracks and deemed them worth a second listen later I'll definitely be paying for the lossless tracks.

As a sidenote, it appears that all 2500 copies of the $300 limited edition version of Ghosts I-IV have been sold already.

Here's something I find interesting. As CD sales have declined, labels have decided to trim down artist rosters and hedge their bets on making a lot of money from a few releases. In the online world there's rarely a lot of money to be made on a per song basis. It's not really like CDs, but actually more like radio. That means downloaded songs don't, by and large, have the value in consumers' minds that CD tracks do.

I'm not an economist, but I do understand that if consumers aren't willing to pay more for less music you need to release more to make money at a smaller margin. Simply put, you can no longer attach a mandatory premium price to distribution. Some customers will pay extra for the CD, jewel case, box set, accompanying booklet, or other things. The majority will think of it like radio and expect to pay little or nothing for it.

The flip side to this is that a barrier to works longer than a single CD is removed. In the past it was usually a gamble to release albums with 2 or more CDs because of higher manufacturing and packaging costs compared to the chance that consumers wouldn't pay more for it. Under the prevailing online model each track is the same price, whether it originates from a single CD release or a 99 disc box set. There are still additional production costs, but there should also be a proportional increase in the amount of music to sell.

If production costs are currently too high for this model you cut back. There are small recording studios in every decent sized city in the U.S. recording local artists from all over. By developing deals that start with distribution (or maybe cleanup and distribution) of some of these recordings you reduce costs. If the labels don't get into this business they're going to face stiff competition when someone else does.

I suspect Mr. Reznor will be forthcoming about the results of this experiment. It will be interesting to find out how he feels about it compared to the Saul Williams album. I didn't know about that one when it was released online, otherwise I probably would have downloaded the free version first and paid for the higher quality files if it was any good.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Mar 2008 @ 19:54

94.3.2008 15:40

Originally posted by vurbal:
Thanks for catching that. It was a last minute edit where I apparently un-corrected the original article ;-)
LOL! No problem. :-D


It is good to finally see an artist that is in touch with what the consumer actually wants.

"Great minds discuss ideas... Average minds discuss events... Small minds discuss people"

PS3 compatible video creation thread... mkv2vob, tsMuxeR etc.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/621809
The complete HD (Blu-ray/HD-DVD) back-up thread.: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/639346

104.3.2008 23:08

i love this idea.dont care for NIN. But I will be getting his cd just for the basis of supporting him and his reasoning. I encourage all of you to do the same. Finally seems we may have some sort of leader, somebody stepping out on a limb.

115.3.2008 11:32

Love NIN (not so much his newer releases but still good stuff)
Love Trent Reznor's thinking

I will defidently be opening my wallet again to make a purchase of music again. Last time I made an actual music purchase was 10 years ago. Simply not enough good music being released to cause me to make a purchase.

125.3.2008 23:45

Hm. Off topic here.
I actually saw a member whose name is "NinReznor". Prolly only a fan, but who knows?

136.3.2008 3:01

Originally posted by jookycola:
How bad is the record industry when an artist can make MORE from a $5 album than they could from a $16 CD???

Wow. I'll buy it just to support a savy artist with a clue that seems to understand the shift in the business.
Yeah.. oh, well, here in finland its about 20 euros per cd, which is about 29 usd so there we go.. a double-cd is probably more, but I don't really know because I have not been shopping that much music lately (www.radiorock.fi is enough)

Anyway, I have not been listening to NIN in years, but I just had to go and get the album for 5 usd (about 3,5 euros), payment was a breeze with paypal. This is the way to go, congrats to Trent for his courage.

147.3.2008 1:16

I like NIN, so I'm in for a fiver to take some flac.

I find it somewhat funny that you guys are buying music that you don't like just because you support the way it's being distributed, though - didn't this whole thing start because people wanted to be able to just get the music they LIKED at a decent and reasonable price, and not be forced to buy a whole album when they only like one song? Sure, this might help your own favorite musicians to get the hint and come over, but still, you're fudging the data for people trying to see how many consumers like NIN's music... but I guess since that guarantees that I'll get to hear more of it, I can't complain.

So... thanks everyone :)

157.3.2008 2:12

Originally posted by sinistrad:
I like NIN, so I'm in for a fiver to take some flac.

I find it somewhat funny that you guys are buying music that you don't like just because you support the way it's being distributed, though - didn't this whole thing start because people wanted to be able to just get the music they LIKED at a decent and reasonable price, and not be forced to buy a whole album when they only like one song? Sure, this might help your own favorite musicians to get the hint and come over, but still, you're fudging the data for people trying to see how many consumers like NIN's music... but I guess since that guarantees that I'll get to hear more of it, I can't complain.

So... thanks everyone :)

To me the real advantage of this is that I'm interested in buying music I like, but don't love. I may not listen to it often, but if it's only once a year it's worth the $5.

In reality I suspect I'll listen more often than that because the first volume is good background music while I'm writing. That's something I never would have found out for the price of a CD.

1621.4.2008 23:49

This is a smart business move on his part. This way he will give them a lil taste and if they want more they will have to pay for it. Its kinda like a shareware program.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive