Reznor Grosses $1.6 Million In The First Week Of Ghosts I-IV

from the nope,-no-way-for-musicians-to-make-money-at-all dept

Last week, we noted that Trent Reznor's latest experiment with business models had resulted in selling out the exclusive deluxe edition of his latest Nine Inch Nails offering, grossing $750,000. That, of course, didn't include any of the lower level sales. Reznor has now released the news that in the first week alone, the project has grossed $1.6 million in revenue, despite the fact that the music was widely available for free download (some of that helped along by Reznor himself). How long until someone says that there's no way to make money giving away music again?

Filed Under: business models, music, nine inch nails, trent reznor


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 15 Mar 2008 @ 2:01am

    Re: I've worked in the business.

    OK, I have to ask what the hell ReallyEvilCanine is really on about here...

    "Do you seriously expect to shift the costs to the performers who would have to purchase the rights from the others and keep track of each song they play at each concert, cross-reference with the amount made at each concert and pay the percentages out?"

    Nobody's saying they can't hire management, songwriters, engineers and representation to perform these jobs for them. What's being disputed are the ideas that the recording is the only method of income and that royalties for this recording need to be paid to everyone for 100 years.

    "Tell it to the Dixie Chicks, who were dropped by corporate country radio and almost dropped by their label. See their film Shut Up & Sing and watch the process of how the Taking The Long Way shaped up. While they wrote most of the music, they brought in Rick Rubin who told them some of the lyrics were shit, something they already knew. They collaborated with Dan Wilson for some of the songs and specifically thanked him when they got the Grammy for Not Ready to Make Nice for putting into lyrics what they were trying to say. They also collaborated with Sheryl Crow on the song Favorite Year on the same album."

    What are you getting at here? What you seem to be suggesting is that the corporate structure was good because even though they were dumped by corporate radio, Rick Rubin and Dan Wilson were working for another corporation that saved them? I don't get this.

    If the corporate structure wasn't followed, the Dixie Chicks may never have been dumped in the first place, or the dumping wouldn't have had such a massive impact. If they knew their lyrics needed work, they could have hired a writer (either for royalty payments or a one-off payment, up to them). The fact that Sheryl Crow collaborated with them is meaningless - this neither improves the music nor is special - it only means something today because Crow's corporate representation allowed the collaboration. there are thousands of potential collaborations that have not happened over the years due to corporate disputes over publishing and royalty rights.

    "I know some great photographers who aren't getting much work these days because while they can take excellent pictures, they have no m4d Ph0t0sh0p sk1llZ. When photography was only film they'd shoot the pictures and specialist graphic artists would handle the touch-ups and airbrushing. Not anymore."

    So, you're saying that the photography industry's focus has changed from plain photographs to digital montages? Shocking. There is absolutely nothing stopping a decent photograph from being sold to the right market, nor is there anything stopping the photographer from collaborating with a digital artist to provide saleable material (the photoshop dude still needs raw material to work with). If the photographers are sitting around whining that something that sold 20 years ago doesn't sell now, that's not the industry's problem, it's theirs.

    Face it, what's being suggested in Mike's article and every other article here on the subject is that free music, including "piracy", doesn't necessarily have a completely negative impact on the industry. If the industry is willing to change (and experiments / new businesses like Reznor's, WE7 and last.fm (among many others) show possible, successful and/or innovative directions), there's no reason why the industry can't continue. The problem is that the last thing that most of these corporations want to do is change the business model they got fat on, and that's what's causing their plummeting profits.

    When we're trumpeting these kinds of models, it's only to show that there no longer any need for artists to jump onto the sinking major label ship. Sure, hire songwriters, producers and marketers if you need them to do that work for you, and negotiate a contract that allows a share of revenue in t-shirt sales or live performances if recording royalties aren't enough. But, there's no need to if you have imagination and the desire to succeed.

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