Reznor Does It Again: Releases Free EP Of Unreleased Tracks From NIN, Jane's Addiction To Support Tour

from the go-get-'em dept

Trent Reznor sure has a way of releasing new experiments just before I'm about to give a presentation about him. He did it right before my MidemNet case study about his experiments, and now that I'm getting ready to an updated (and expanded!) version of the presentation at next week's Leadership Music Digital Summit, Reznor has launched a new website called NIN|JA 2009 in support of the new tour Nine Inch Nails is doing with Jane's Addiction (and Street Sweeper). The site has a streaming playlist from all three bands, along with the ability to download an entirely free EP of unreleased tracks (two from each band) in exchange for your email. And, not surprisingly, the page lets you get more info on the tour.

It's not particularly different than the release of The Slip, but shows that he's continued to combine these two factors of connecting with fans (often via free music) and immediately giving them a real reason to buy. Oh yeah -- and he still did it in a fun way for the fans. Last night, on Twitter, he alerted people that the site would be going live today, but then had fun with it this morning -- giving people a 3 minute countdown following by a bit of joking around, first backing it up to 5 minutes, saying someone had kicked the plug out of the wall, then geekily pretending to be a clueless Windows user:
  • trent_reznor: So... anybody know what it means when your PC's screen goes all blue and wont do anything? Give me a sec here.
  • trent_reznor: An exception has occured at 0028:C11B3ADC in VxD DiskTSD(03) 000016660. It may be possible to continue normally. ????
  • trent_reznor: Come on, people - you know me better than that.
And with that, the site launched. Time to go update the presentation...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 10:09am

    Have FUN with fans?????? How is this possible? I thought suing and alienating fans was the only way to do things?!?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Harold's #1 fan, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Scumbag

    This idiot should be jailed. He's ruining the music industry by setting a bad example, by ignoring good, proven and sound business practices.

    I hope the feds investigate him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 20th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Downloaded. Thanks again, Trent, for showing people how it's done. I just hope he manages to tour on a continent I happen to be on soon!

    By the way, THIS is how to promote yourself. No region coding, no hassle. You get a link that asks you which format you want it in (FLAC included - try getting that from most of the major retailers). 2 tracks from each artist, all new and unreleased material that you can't get elsewhere.

    This means that you: generate interest in your tour with no risk. It also means that the support acts (one of them unsigned) manage to generate international interest in their music simply by being on the same bill as NIN. Win-win, with nothing to lose unless you hold the retarded RIAA concept that something has been "lost" because the songs aren't being charged for...

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Jonathan, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    Though I've disliked most of his output since Downward Spiral (Ghosts was good -- I think I mostly dislike his vocals now) I am both blown away and incredibly pleased with how fully he's embraced a different way of doing things, and how successful it's being for him. If only someone with more influence, someone MOR and media-friendly like U2, would follow his lead.

    Also, "NINJA" is a great name for that tour.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    mary, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Scumbag

    You apparantley are too "intellectual" to understand that his goal is to please the real fans. Trent Reznor dropped his label, took the expenses on by himself, and still produces the most amazing music and shows. But the feds should investigate? I guess you only look at it from a business perspective which makes you fake, and dumb, because any business man would give him kudos for still getting his music out and packing a stadium with fans. You're exactly the type of person Nine inch nails is trying to block out.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Scumbag

    I'm operating under the assumption the original poster was being sarcastic... ...at least I hope he was being sarcastic.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    hook, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Scumbag

    yeah, Pretty sure scumbag was being sarcastic

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Harold's #1 fan, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Scumbag

    "You apparantley are too "intellectual" "

    Well, apparently you're not at all. Keep condoning bad business ethics and a blatant disregard for the establishment, and you'll end up on the wrong end of the law and the economy too.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward #2, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Hey

    Someone loan me $15? I don't trust this downloading business, so I wanna pay just in case I get investigated.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re:

    FLAC included?!

    He's like the anti-RIAA.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Trent is doing what any self made millionaire can do: Whatever the heck he wants.

    More power to him, too bad the material isn't anywhere as good as it use to be.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Re:

    So you're saying that only people with a lot of money can do this?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    BillDivX, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:21am

    FLAC???

    He offered his songs for free in _FLAC_??? That's criminal! he should be jailed and FLAC should be outlawed! it's not like FLAC has any legal uses. That kind of quality in compressed files is only going to encourage more of this illegal activity, and isn't at all useful for archiving music or storing raw tracks for mixdown with out a ridiculous budget for hard drives.

    How dare this fool go around making money by producing music without the protections of the MAFIAA!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re:

    What I am saying is that he has the massively luxury of huge piles of money, equipment, time, and a paying fan base to support him. He can do what he pleases without concern for commercial viability or even ever making a dime on it.

    The same amount of work out of a guy working 40+ hours a week and working out of his bedroom with a small recorder might take years and years - and then perhaps nobody will even care to listen to it.

    The luxury of being rich and famous.

     

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  15.  
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    Harold's #1 fan, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: FLAC???

    Hey fool, stop it. You're on my turf.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The luxury of being rich and famous.

    Which is exactly why *most* bands doing things like this are the small and upcoming ones... Oh, wait...

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    Self made?

    You're so damn ignorant! No musician using the Corporate Pirate Model of distribution is self made.

    And Trent's at least trying something new.

    What are you doing?

    Oh, right. Posting stupid comments on an internet site which you wish were as successful as the pathetic attempt you advertise within your username.

    Maybe you should ask Trent for advice.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So, you're saying that only people who have lots of money can do this.

    By the way, I would qualify NIN commercially viable, and I hope it works as well for Jane's Addiction and Street Sweeper.

    Never heard of Street Sweeper before. Now is my chance, I guess.

     

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  19.  
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    Lucretious, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction) is (or was) notorious in his disdain for file sharing of music.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    *sigh*

    another WH victim...

    WH knows full well Mike's explanation for the big vs. small argument of a viable business model based on "free". He is simply trying to get Mike to bite.

    To Mike's credit he seems to have figured out our mouth breathing friend's M.O.

    STOP responding to him.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can you supply any facts about Mr. Reznor's alleged wealth?

    Because, if not, you're just talking out your ass again. Sorry, not ass, I mean channel.

    (Stuff that channel!)

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Miles, please. Before you spout off, perhaps learn some history first.

    Please check out the history of Nothing Records, which was Trent's semi-independant Vanity label under Interscope, which allows Trent to run pretty much his own show. It allowed him the luxury of things like building his own studio in New Orleans (since demolished) and gave him a 12 year run where basically he was his own boss.

    Effectively, Trent is a self made millionaire, and would have been a self made mega-millionaire is he didn't have a few destructive chemical based hobbies.

    So in essence, what he is doing now isn't all that different from what he has done for his entire career, piggy backing on the establishment only when it suited his needs, and doing it his own way when it didn't. The reality is that you don't have to spend a whole bunch of times with lawyers when the label owner Trent only has to ask the musician Trent if they want to put stuff online, example.

    Trent is a nice guy, a very smart individual who has managed his image very well, and now no longer needs to worry about making another dime again - and he knows that he can take it all on the road and make a dump truck full of cash, album, no album, whatever.

    Interestingly, I own almost every piece of NIN music out there up until he went off on this current tangent. The current music is, IMHO, much weaker than his work in the past, mostly because I feel he doesn't take the true time to finish it anymore, leaving that for the remixers and such. His creation cycle is shorter, but the material is also much more raw and unpolished, and not always as considered as it was in the past.

     

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  23.  
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    interval, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    What can one say but "Go Trent."

    Hopefully Farrell will come around when (if, whatever) the ticket sales and the physical media sales and the apparel sales starting lining his pockets. I like what Reznor's doing, although I was not a huge NiN fan. But I was huge on JA back in the day. I will be checking out the web site.

     

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  24.  
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    Some IT Guy, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Metallica........Take notes!

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    teknposapien, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 1:10pm

    This is the business

    Model that will put the RIAA out of Business
    its only a matter of time before others are following in his foot steps

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    btrussell, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    " His creation cycle is shorter, but the material is also much more raw and unpolished, and not always as considered as it was in the past."
    Thats copyright for you.
    No need.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, that's business for you. When you are no longer even slightly concerned about the financial implications of a record release, you stop caring. I think it has made the NIN songs a little more sloppy and a little more incomplete. If he was working it for actual sale, he might take the time to polish it a bit and really put all his effort on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 21st, 2009 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Typical naysaying fool...

    Here's a couple of interesting facts for you: first of all, music is subjective. Just because *you* don't like NIN's new sound doesn't mean it's bad. I wonder how many new fans Reznor's picked up with his new sound and business models that would never have bought a NIN records previously? Fans who are paying for gigs, merchandise and CDs? It's difficult to say, but you're a fool if you think "zero".

    Also, read some music forums and get a feel for what other people think. One of the biggest complaints about modern music is how it all sounds overproduced, with all the "rawness" and edge taken out of it. There's a lot of people clamouring for music that doesn't sound polished and "marketable" in the mind of a record executive. What sounds like a lack of "polish" to you may be Reznor actually giving people what they want...

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "fail".

    NIN sells out everywhere it plays before. This is one of the biggest problems of "FREE!", the mistake in thinking that an actlike NIN can suddenly have bigger concerts. They are already selling out every venue, there is no need to go beyond that.

    What is really happening? NIN concert tickets are significantly more expensive than they were in the past. That means that the true fans (ones who will pay this higher amount at a concert) are paying for all those freeloaders to enjoy the music for nothing. It isn't a revolution, it's just transference of cost from one point to another.

    People getting stuff for free don't buy significantly more CDs, they don't attend signficantly more concerts. If anything, the most rabid music fans actually do less than a rabid fan would do, because they have so much for free.

    As for the lack of polish, it may be what some fans want, but it starts to exclude the band from things like radio airplay and such.

    One funny story involved a local radio station that was quite popular, and had reached a bit of a turning point. IT was a rock station, and during a certain point, heavy metal was very popular (the cycle in the 80s). Well, this rock station had to make a bit of a choice, which is either ot play more heavy metal to meet up with the demands of fans on the telephone calling in requests, or stay in a more middle of the road position, making the station more appropriate even for people listening at work as such.

    Well, it turns out that the vast majority of the people calling in requests were about or under the age of 18. They disproportionately were represented on the phone because they were the ones making the calls. Older people didn't tend to call in for requests. So when they looked at their demographics (ratings reports) and compared that to who was on the phone creating this ruckus for heavy metal every day, they realized that they would pretty much have to toss out large amount their listenership to make a very much smaller group very happy. As the program director said to me, it would make the station the "most popular station for kids listening in mom's basement", but would diminish the station overall.

    The lesson? Sometimes the protestors, the most vocal, the most strident are actually a very small group. It is often a mistake to give in to this group, because what they want isn't what a vast majority want. If you are doing something to increase your fan base or audience, you need to do things that appeal to most of the audience, instead of just a niche. Niche marketing is great, but if you get stuck on only one, you will have a hard time making it.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    george, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "NIN sells out everywhere it plays before. This is one of the biggest problems of "FREE!", the mistake in thinking that an actlike NIN can suddenly have bigger concerts. They are already selling out every venue, there is no need to go beyond that. "

    that makes no sense

    "Well, it turns out that the vast majority of the people calling in requests were about or under the age of 18. They disproportionately were represented on the phone because they were the ones making the calls. Older people didn't tend to call in for requests. So when they looked at their demographics (ratings reports) and compared that to who was on the phone creating this ruckus for heavy metal every day, they realized that they would pretty much have to toss out large amount their listenership to make a very much smaller group very happy. As the program director said to me, it would make the station the "most popular station for kids listening in mom's basement", but would diminish the station overall."

    i'm not sure that mass appeal is the best way to go when you're dealing with an artist like NIN. Considering the choices people can make in deciding who and how to listen to music, niche marketing is the only way to go. Focusing and pandering to those fans that are the most vocal and attentive gives 'em a reason to buy those expensive concert tickets, after all.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Again, only a valid argument if there were expensive concert tickets left to sell. NIN doesn't need to grow it's fan base, just satisfying it's existing base could take years. Although I will say that I am not the only person who stopped being all that in love with NIN based on their current direction, radio has pretty much logged off as well.

    NIN is doing concerts now at the largest level, there are only do many days in the year, so they can only do so many concerts, and those concerts are sellouts. So adding new demand isn't really changing the concert part, they are over sold. The point of promotion is to raise awareness and get people to do something, but if you are all sold out already, promotion is just expense with no return.

    As for your question of mass appeal versus niche marketing, you are making the error that many people make. Mass appeal in the end is just niche marketing to enough niches that it looks like mass - but in reality, it is niche marketing. What made NIN really work was that they were not a one niche band, but one with so many niches that they appear to be mass marketing. Techno, Industrial, Rock, Heavy Rock, Syth pop, dance, AOR, and so on. You are as likely to hear older NIN at a fetish party as you are to hear it in a dance club.

    The current NIN material is much more narrow, which is turn is making it generally less appealing to the various niches, which takes it away from apparent mass appeal. The end effect is that radio isn't playing the newer stuff (mostly recent I head is songs from With Teeth) - and the charting pretty much follows, with the last two albums not even making the top 10 in the US and no longer even charting at all in some areas.

    So Trent may end up being the most popular artist for a certain group of free music junkies, but radio is tuning out. In the end, he may in fact need all this free promotion to put people in the seats, so you may end up being right.

     

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  33.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 21st, 2009 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Again, you miss the major point in favour of our own interpretation...

    You say:

    "Although I will say that I am not the only person who stopped being all that in love with NIN based on their current direction, radio has pretty much logged off as well."

    I say: there are many people who will have started to listen to NIN (myself included) who did not listen to NIN before---

    You sat : "The current NIN material is much more narrow, which is turn is making it generally less appealing to the various niches, which takes it away from apparent mass appeal."

    I say there are are huge number of people who listen to NIN who did not do so before the "free" releases..

    How do you reconcile these "facts"? Most importantly, how does the business model you whore for let me spend money on music while supporting the bands I love?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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