Reznor Takes Connecting With Fans Mobile... For Free

from the nice-job dept

While my keynote presentation today at the Mesh Conference does mention Trent Reznor, luckily (for me) it's not the same presentation I did at MidemNet... because, if it was, I'd have to do a last minute update on the presentation to take into account the new iPhone app that Reznor is releasing, which basically takes all of the features from the NIN website, and enables it on the iPhone... and then adds in a neat bit of location-based info so fans can find each other, or know where other fans happen to be. And, oh yeah, despite all the fuss about charging for iPhone apps, he's releasing it for free -- realizing that better enabling fans to connect will only help him further monetize other things later. The overall article is a great read as well, digging deeper into Reznor's experiments, business model and thoughts on the process:
"I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't think music should be free. But the climate is such that it's impossible for me to change that, because the record labels have established a sense of mistrust. So everything we've tried to do has been from the point of view of, 'What would I want if I were a fan? How would I want to be treated?' Now let's work back from that. Let's find a way for that to make sense and monetize it."
He's making the same point we've been making. It's no longer about whether or not music "should" be free. That doesn't matter any more. For most people it is free. So once you accept that, you start looking for ways to do more with it -- and Reznor is doing much more with it than just about anyone else.

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  1. identicon
    Weird Harold, 7 Apr 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, his concerts made him well known.

    Actually, it was his demo / sampler record that make him well enough known to get a real record deal, and only after that real record deal did he become well known. Realistically, NIN wasn't even a band until the first album got released. But that is just history.

    Trent has publicity, he has a very strong and exceedingly loyal fan base, and has played to many in that fan base by allowing them to remix songs, to get demos, remixes, and allowed them to interact with the music. But all of this came after NIN had major success and massively levels of income from touring and other activities (including the promotion of Marilyn Manson). With a huge pile of money and a bit of a geek mentality, Trent has sunk right into his audience and become one of them.

    He is a rare player in the game.

    He is also affluent, and more than willing to spend that money to run all sorts of ideas up the flag pole. Most of them don't pan out or don't give truly the desires results (as witness by the fact that his latest couple of albums are not doing so well in sales, aren't charting as high, etc) and that the vast majority of NIN music on radio these days is the older stuff, not the newer material.

    He does have incredible momentum on his side, which can cause some to mistake this momentum for success on any of his "ideas". So in many ways, it is really hard to tell how much is "new ways of doing things" succeeding, or just the hangover of the old ways being focused somewhere else.

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