Trent Reznor's Latest Trick: Reward High Scorers In NIN iPhone Game

from the keep-evolving dept

One of the things to understand when we talk about various business model innovations that companies can use, is the idea that successful implementation of these business models doesn't mean merely copying what someone else did, but continuing to come up with new ideas and new innovations. One of the common retorts to this, often found in our comments, is that if everyone's doing x then it loses all value. But, of course, that shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what we're advocating. The whole point is that everyone doesn't do x, but they keep innovating and doing different things. And, for those who claim that there really are only so many things you can do, I'll point you to the words of economist Paul Romer:
Every generation has perceived the limits to growth that finite resources and undesirable side effects would pose if no new recipes or ideas were discovered. And every generation has underestimated the potential for finding new recipes and ideas. We consistently fail to grasp how many ideas remain to be discovered. The difficulty is the same one we have with compounding: possibilities do not merely add up; they multiply.
Or, even better, I'll just point you to the example of Trent Reznor, who, despite being quite far ahead of the pack on many attempted business models, doesn't seem to want to rest on his laurels. Instead, he just keeps innovating. We've covered many of the business model innovations made by Trent Reznor over the last few years (and I'm actually preparing a presentation on the topic for a music industry conference next year -- which I'll be talking about more in the future). His latest is to embrace the iPhone game Tapulous, which is sort of a rather simplified iPhone version of any "push a button to the beat" music game, a la Guitar Hero or Rock Band today (or Dance Dance Revolution in the past).

Now, the easy (boring) thing to do would have been to just create a Nine Inch Nails version of the game, which is now available. You can now play Tapulous to various songs from NiN's recent albums (whose releases we've discussed previously). However, much more interesting is tying the game even further to the band, such that those who score a certain level of points can submit the score back to Tapulous, and get entered into a contest to win floor tickets to see NiN perform or, for one lucky winner, a Les Paul guitar signed by Trent Reznor.

Despite the fact that many would say that Reznor has done much more innovating than many other musicians these days, the important thing to note is that he keeps on trying new stuff -- and each time gets more attention and wins over more fans with his actions. And the folks who complain that no new business model will work because everyone will be doing it? They're not getting much attention at all.

Filed Under: business models, contests, games, iphone, music, nine inch nails, trent reznor
Companies: tapulous


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2008 @ 11:23am

    Engaging your customer with your brand (yes overall, generalized brand, not band) in a creative, innovative, and fun way can do nothing but help.

    Free music is going to happen whether NIN gives it away or not, so why not control the way your free music is distributed to the masses? By leaking 1 album for free, they created lifetime fans from those who may have been "touch and go" supporters of the group.

    From the consumer's standpoint: I got the last NIN album for free on the net essentially saving $10 - $15. Now I want to go to an NIN concert with that extra $10 - $15 in my pocket that yields a discount on my seats and maybe I'll snag a tour shirt.

    I'm not huge into NIN, but to see the ways that they're innovating engage their fans does cause me to think of ways that these ideas can be translated into my own world. Thus, the multiplication theory comes into effect.

    Very good read Mike.

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