Tuesday, October 09, 2007

First Radiohead, Now NIN

As I await my email from Radiohead giving me a link to download their new, um , release tomorrow, I found a similar story that made me rejoice. My favorite band, Nine Inch Nails, has gone free agent. No more record company for Trent Reznor. This is the same guy who used camcorders, Final Cut, and a couple of Macs to create a concert collection video. Most of the truly awesome Year Zero recording from this year was recorded on Trent's MacBook Pro. Heck, he even release the Garage Band tracks for several of the songs so fans could have fun remixing the songs. The marketing for Year Zero has become infamous for its viral/guerilla tactics. Given all that, what was the function for a record company for NIN?

So will the next NIN recording be free like Radiohead's new one? That is a very interesting question. One must assume that without a record company, it will be a digital download only. In that case, it has to be DRM-free. It is expensive and complicated to do a DRM scheme (requires dedicated servers after all) and obviously distasteful for artists. Of course NIN could go the iTunes route. He obviously has an affinity for Apple products. Even if it is DRM-free (probably 320kbs MP3s, same as Radiohead is expected to release and same as NIN distributed on thumb drives as part of the Year Zero marketing) it does not necessarily mean it will be free (or pay whatever you want like Radiohead.) Still, I would definitely not be surprised if it was free. NIN has one of the great live shows in all of rock, and touring will always be a huge thing for them.

No comments: