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
    Lorne Entress, 21 Apr 2009 @ 7:30am

    Trent Rezner

    I thoroughly enjoyed your Trent Reznor video on YouTube and have to admit that many of his ideas are brilliant. Still, being a musician it's rather dispiriting to think that getting one's music out there may now depend on playing hide and seek with sound files or deciphering secret clues ala Harry Potter. As for the add-on products that Reznor sells for profit, imagine my dentist having to fill a cavity for free with hopes that I will pay a premium price for a limited edition mouthwash! Perhaps that's apples and oranges--I do seriously embrace the reality that the business of recorded music is changing in a radical way. But just how helpful Reznor's model is remains to be seen. His fans seem to exhibit a tribal-like allegiance and delight in his arcane promotions. That's unlikely to be the case with all other music and fans.

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