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. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 5 Nov 2008 @ 1:18pm

    To the close-minded

    I have been following Reznor for over 50% of my life to date, and that percentage can only go up.
    He does a good job all by himself at shooting down a lot of your arguments up there.
    Many of these points were stated above, but a few of you seem a little too thick skulled to understand.

    Reznor encourages his fans to download his music. It is not stealing, and it is not theft. It WOULD be copyright infringement, IF he cared. But because he actively encourages his fans to download his music, you are breaking no laws by doing so (unless maybe you get some older stuff that somebody else owns any sort of copyright on).
    But, since he actively encourages it, there is nothing wrong with it. He even makes it super easy from his website to download the newer stuff. He even manages to sell CDs, WITHOUT the RIAA or any of their worthless ilk. He does this by adding more value to the disc. Or he also has fans like me, who, despite downloading the disc the moment its available, I also choose to pay money to have the physical copy, because I collect them. I am a true fan in this regard. He will make money period.
    He made over 1.6million from his Ghosts cd alone, probably more now since that number is old. And this is because he made it worthwhile. He added signatures and vinyls and a whole bunch of other stuff to the discs and sold them for what I see as crazy amounts. But there are truer fans than I, and they paid for it.

    For the guys who keep mentioning all that is left is concerts, you have obviously never been to a concert. Every concert I have been to (NIN WAYYYYYY more than others) you see people wearing t-shirts of the band, or other such articles of clothing. Merchandise works quite nicely for bands. I would say a good 50% of the NIN fans I see are wearing something NIN at the concerts. I am one of them (at every concert since the Fragility tour).

    As poster #26, WAR, said, he loves us. You can tell in everything he does, in his website, at his concerts. Reznor really does care about us fans. And we care about him. It is an excellent relationship. If you cared about more than money in this life, you would understand.

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