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NIN Moves Forward with Free Music Model
New single released on major social bookmarking sites
by KathrynV 01:01PM Sunday May 04 2008
Nine Inch Nails has been a front runner in proving to the world that it makes sense for bands to release their music for free to the public using BitTorrent trackers and online downloads. Sticking to that model, the band has announced that its latest single, Echoplex, is now available for free download from sites like Facebook and iLike. This news isn’t nearly as exciting as this year’s earlier release of a full album on BitTorrent sites; after all, it isn’t entirely uncommon for bands to post free singles on their sites. However, it points to NIN’s continuing interest in drawing attention to the value of offering free music as a promotional tactic in today’s digital world.

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TSI Gabe
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1 recommendation

Discipline

I'm not sure if this has been posted yet but another Single is also available right on their web site

»dl.nin.com/discipline/nin
--
TSI Gabe - TekSavvy Solutions Inc.

Re: Discipline

Thanks!

Both free tracks are actually VBR, encoded using LAME, and the id3 tags ("v2") both state "Go to www.nin.com May 5"
...who knows what could happen...

Whatever the case, nice of him to offer some free tunes

Not my favorite musician, but I must say the live show I saw a few years back was amazing. One of the best shows I've ever seen. Probably helped that they absolutely rocked many of the older songs and had great stage presence.

They'll still make a nice bundle of money touring and selling merch at shows.
Glad Trent is being real about the modern age instead of whining or complaining. At the very least, he deserves some respect for his attitude when it comes to dealing with the music business.

dadkins
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ONOES!!!111

Free Music?

BLASPHEMY!

TSI Gabe
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Re: ONOES!!!111

Lol
Kearnstd
Space Elf
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the "loss" of the record sales from these is more then made up for by $30 Tshirts at the concerts. and id imagine they get more money to band per Tshirt dollar then they do CD sale dollar.
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[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
viperlmw
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On a side note...

...it's actually a pretty good song. And at a decent bit rate (256Kbps). Way to go, Trent!

mlerner
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Re: On a side note...

320 is my preferred bit rate but still nice to offer it.

Glaice
Brutal Video Vault
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North Babylon, NY

Re: On a side note...

said by mlerner:

320 is my preferred bit rate but still nice to offer it.
Too much hard drive space (6 min song = 12-13MB)

I prefer 192-224 VBR

fozngoof
Premium
join:2003-07-08
Temple, TX

Live performances

IMO bands should make their $$$ from their live performances anyways. They actually "work" during these concerts, and work hard. Not saying that they shouldn't make $$$ off of record sales, but that shouldn't be the their main source of income.

I would think the record companies are the ones this hurts the most. "free music" that is.

Free music is what generates concert sales and album sales.

I am making this waaaaay more simplistic than what it is.

pnh102
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Mount Airy, MD

Labels Take Note

This sort of thing will probably lead record labels to put more restrictive terms in their contracts with new bands.
--
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NJxxxJon
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Re: Labels Take Note

said by pnh102:

This sort of thing will probably lead record labels to put more restrictive terms in their contracts with new bands.
and raise some ticket prices. [ Still for FREE MUSIC ]
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___________Post a VIDEO...or it DIDN'T HAPPEN_____

Alpine
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Atlanta, GA

Cool, but...

Great for a long-established artist like Trent to do this and generate publicity for himself.

But what about "My Left Buttcheek" with exactly 5 fans who won't have fifteen years of major label advertising behind them?

This is interesting and the record companies are certainly woefully inadequate in their digital distribution, but don't think that just any small band could be successful at this without label marketing power. It would still be a one-in-a-million shot to become the next magic YouTube phenon.

88615298
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West Tenness

Re: Cool, but...

said by Alpine:

Great for a long-established artist like Trent to do this and generate publicity for himself.

But what about "My Left Buttcheek" with exactly 5 fans who won't have fifteen years of major label advertising behind them?

This is interesting and the record companies are certainly woefully inadequate in their digital distribution, but don't think that just any small band could be successful at this without label marketing power. It would still be a one-in-a-million shot to become the next magic YouTube phenon.
Exactly. Sure a band with a name can get make that money up selling out stadiums of 15K, 20k or more. How long will that last? If this becomes the norm you eventually won't have any new "big name" bands anymore. This is where this method fails.

People think the record labels are evil. People don't understand that the record lable can spend MILLIONS on a artist/band before they even sell one record. And in fact they often lose money on most of them. I have no problem with the labels wanting to make back their investment in an artist and maybe make a little profit too. If bands think their deals suck they never should sign them in the first place and hold out for a better deal.

Glaice
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Re: Cool, but...

We don't need any more generic cookiecutter rock/pop-punk/country/"metal"/etc polluting the market anyways.
Desdinova
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Gaithersburg, MD
"People don't understand that the record lable can spend MILLIONS on a artist/band before they even sell one record."

And then the labels earn TENS of millions back on those same artists with only a tiny fraction of the profits ever making it back to the musicians.

"And in fact they often lose money on most of them."

And the amount they lose is pretty insignificant and certainly doesn't affect the bottom line in any real way (there's a difference between losing money and not earning as much as you expected. Besides, all of the "losses" get written off as an end-of-quarter expense anyway). If an artist isn't already a proven commodity, the major labels aren't going to risk jack; they'll invest a very bare minimum (if anything) and then hold onto whatever trickles in and blame the artist for not selling more records.

And yeah, the record labels ARE evil. That's why so many older artists are fleeing from them and why newer ones aren't even trying to get picked up in the first place (certainly not in the numbers they once did).

Here's some simple math:
Musicians without labels = musicians who earn less money.
Labels without musicians = executives who earn NO money.

Which is why folks like Trent and Radiohead and Barenaked Ladies, etc. scare the piss out of the labels. Okay, maybe not scare the piss out of them (yet) but certainly cause no small amount of anxiety...

88615298
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West Tenness

Re: Cool, but...

said by Desdinova:

"People don't understand that the record lable can spend MILLIONS on a artist/band before they even sell one record."

And then the labels earn TENS of millions back on those same artists with only a tiny fraction of the profits ever making it back to the musicians.

"And in fact they often lose money on most of them."

And the amount they lose is pretty insignificant and certainly doesn't affect the bottom line in any real way (there's a difference between losing money and not earning as much as you expected. Besides, all of the "losses" get written off as an end-of-quarter expense anyway). If an artist isn't already a proven commodity, the major labels aren't going to risk jack; they'll invest a very bare minimum (if anything) and then hold onto whatever trickles in and blame the artist for not selling more records.

And yeah, the record labels ARE evil. That's why so many older artists are fleeing from them and why newer ones aren't even trying to get picked up in the first place (certainly not in the numbers they once did).

Here's some simple math:
Musicians without labels = musicians who earn less money.
Labels without musicians = executives who earn NO money.

Which is why folks like Trent and Radiohead and Barenaked Ladies, etc. scare the piss out of the labels. Okay, maybe not scare the piss out of them (yet) but certainly cause no small amount of anxiety...
Some no name band can afford to pay for a HIGH QUALITY stuido? No name atrists can book 50 city tours in 15,000+ seat stadiums? No name bands are experts in promotion?

Had to cash in on the $30 t-shirts you sell at concerts when you can't book them because no one has heard of you.
Desdinova
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Re: Cool, but...

"Some no name band can afford to pay for a HIGH QUALITY stuido?"

First off, a musician's success doesn't depend at all on the quality of the equipment; it depends on the quality of the material and the musician performing it. If it WAS all about the toys then there would be no argument that Britney Spears and her kith and kin are the best musicians of all time and folks that composed prior to there even BEING studios (you know, hacks like Beethoven, Bach, etc.) would not be remembered at all. On top of that, quite a few musicians have recorded incredibly successful albums in home studios with very basic equipment...not to mention a number of successful live albums that weren't recorded in a studio at all.

"No name atrists can book 50 city tours in 15,000+ seat stadiums? No name bands are experts in promotion?"

I'm not sure I understand your question in relation to the topic about labels, so I'll give you several answers. First off the labels don't book the tours. They rarely have anything to DO with the tours (except to weep that they're not making any more undeserved money from the musicians).

Typically, for a major artist like Chris Brown, his management team decides to go on tour. They hire a tour director who works with the artist to conceptualize the show, then they hire a production company to manage the tour. The production company hires the companies and vendors that provide the primary tech crew who stays locked in for the tour. These crew members then work with the stagehands at the local venues to get the show up and running.

That's just one way to do it, and at no point do the labels play a part (in fact, Chris's last tour was sponsored primarily by Ford).

Can No Name artists book fifty city shows in 15,000 seat arenas? Sure they can, but they won't sell any tickets. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY THE LABELS WON'T PAY FOR IT.

Let's use this example: you start a band called the BF69 Experience and you cut a demo. Let's say you send that demo into a major label. Nothing happens because they won't listen to it. So you get an agent to listen to it and they like it. THEY send it in to the label, and because it's coming from an agent, someone in the A&R department listens to it and they like it. They ask how often your band performs. Well, not often; you just recorded the demo and don't really play many gigs. Fine, the rep will say. Build a following and when you've done the work of building that following, we'll consider releasing your work. That's the last you'll see from the label.

On the other hand, let's say that you DO play lots of gigs and have a solid local following. Hell, I'll even go so far as to say that the BF69 Experience has a self-produced album (probably recorded in someone's basement and NOT at a studio) and had even sold a few thousand copies (under a thousand is a more likely figure for a local band but I'll give your group the benefit of the doubt). The A&R guy will be a bit more impressed and will immediately book a nationwide tour of sports arenas.

Just kidding! He'll sign you up and tell you to go on tour. They'll even give you an advance so you can hit the road. But guess what? YOU'LL have to pay for the tour using your advance--an advance that will be withheld from any royalties your band MIGHT earn. That's why it's called an advance. So at the end of the day you've covered all the expenses yourself while the label earned money off album sales.

You and I have been down this road before. You've stated that you don't work in the music industry. I, on the other hand, DO work in the industry and have for decades. I've SEEN what the labels can--and DO--do to artists so please don't try and convince me that they're poor misunderstood victims who need a break. They're comprised of cruel idiotic bastards who's only concern is to the stockholders and their own bank accounts. They don't give a shit about music or musicians and they deserve as much of a cultural and financial raping as they can get.

Still not convinced? Then I refer you- once again- to this article written by a leading industry player. Maybe it will explain in more detail the folks you're defending.

»www.negativland.com/albini.html

Personally, I don't know you and I have no issue with as a human being. If my arguments appear directed at you personally, rest assured that they're not. My complaint is with the disheartening support I see so many give such an undeserving group.

rogunit
Uhhh, Sir?
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There was this band... who made tapes of their songs... and they SHARED them. These songs... were KICKASS. Earthshaking, ear-bleeding, bang your head, snap your neck KICKASS. Extreme quality metal. They were famous worldwide because of the sharing of their tapes, long before they had a record deal.

Who are they today? They don't make quality metal anymore. They are a band that has SOLD OUT to the corporate types. They play with symphonies. Their drummer is so rich (and money grubbing) now that he hates his fans for sharing. He wants his fans jailed and sued.

Oh by the way, their new album is supposedly being released FOR FREE DOWNLOAD.

They'd have to pay me to download it.

Fuck Lars and Metallica. Yes Metallica. The band that became famous by fans copying and sharing their music. Thanks Lars, ol' buddy!