Trent Reznor: CD Outdated... But If We Have To Sell It, Why Not Make It Cool?

from the and-that's-how-sales-work dept

Earlier this month we wrote about how Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails was creatively marketing his new album (and how the RIAA was incorrectly trying to takedown songs from file sharing systems, even though it was part of Reznor's promotional plan). Two separate submissions today make an interesting point about Reznor's strategy. First, comes from Cixelsid, who points out an article that's actually from last month, where Reznor talks about why he's giving away DRM-free music on USB drives hidden at his concerts:
"The USB drive was simply a mechanism of leaking the music and data we wanted out there. The medium of the CD is outdated and irrelevant. It's really painfully obvious what people want -- DRM-free music they can do what they want with. If the greedy record industry would embrace that concept I truly think people would pay for music and consume more of it."
It's always nice to see a musician recognize this simple fact. However, it's made even more interesting when combined with this submission from John about the new Nine Inch Nails CD. According to some photos on Flickr, the CD changes color after it's been played. Basically, it changes colors when it gets hot (like those old t-shirts or mugs or whatever). Now, this is simply a gimmick, but it's an interesting one for someone who believes the CD is irrelevant. Whether on purpose or not, Reznor (or, perhaps someone associated with him) recognizes that, these days, if you want someone to buy the actual CD, you need to give them an additional reason to -- especially if it's a reason that can't easily be replicated. A color changing CD is exactly that. It's an additional reason for buying the CD, simply for the "cool" factor. It won't work for everyone (in fact, this type of thing only works for some of the first who do it), but it shows a pretty smart way of thinking about things. Don't expect people to just buy the same old thing (especially when many consider it irrelevant) unless you offer something of value with it that gives them a reason to actually buy. You can still sell CDs, but not if they're just delivering the same thing that can be more efficiently delivered in other ways.
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  1. identicon
    Man On The Edge, 11 Apr 2008 @ 10:55am

    Up yours, Reznor

    So what does this moron think should happen? Kill off physical records so many people, myself included, can no longer go to a record store and browse through records for something awesome to buy? What if your stupid little MP3 player or hard drive fails? What the hell is wrong with people nowadays? Don't people have pride in owning the real album of the group they like? I don't understand this drive some people have to just end physical media for music, I couldn't imagine no longer expanding my CD/Record collection anymore. I'm not butthurt like everyone else is because CDs aren't less than 10 or 15 dollars, I don't get a goddamn record every day, it's not hard at all for someone to afford a CD every once in awhile even if they were $30 or above.

    This jackass needs to stop painting people who still appreciate music enough to own a real life album as people who are living in the stone age, it's retarded to think CDs are obsolete, because you'll be sorry you can't re-rip those songs you've lost.

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