Trent Reznor's Alternative Distribution Methods

Saying that record companies are "greedy" would be a massive understatement.

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Artists receive such a small amount of album sale profits (less than 1%) that bands are branching out to find new ways to distribute Music. Of course, if you are a big band, there is really only one way you can find yourself new ways to distribute your music.

Without the label!

One great and amazing example of this is of course "Trent Reznor" of the band "Nine inch Nails" (NIN).

In Recent days, Trent Reznor with the album The Slip, has reached out to the far corners of the "box" and offered his newest album "The Slip" as a Free Download.

Alongside that, customers also have the option to pay for a limited edition CD/DVD, Vinyl. Although NIN isn't the first band to try to distribute music in a different way (See Radiohead's "In Rainbows") it seems that this approach could take off.

Some argue that Reznor has copied Radiohead's approach, which Trent argues was "insincere".

Reznor states "I don't see that as a big revolution [that] they're kind of getting credit for, There's nothing wrong with that, but I don't see that as a big revolution [that] they're kind of getting credit for...to me that feels insincere. It relies upon the fact that it was quote-unquote 'first,' and it takes the headlines with it."

On top of that, the In Rainbows Album is no longer available for download as of December 10, 2007.

Many (including Reznor) Argue that, although Radiohead's approach is new and inspiring, in the end it still is just a bait and switch.

"Bait and Switch" meaning, offering something free, and once the customer is sucked in for free, suck them in for money (in this case, to "pay for a MySpace-quality stream as a way to promote a very traditional record sale.").

So where does the future of the music industry lie? Will the "pay what you want" technique take off. Or is this just a fad, like faded jeans and mullets, waiting to the snipped off or thrown out? Well if we want to find out, lets look at the facts.

#1: People Like Things That Are Free

Who doesn't like things that are free? The fact of the matter is that even if someone isn't really interested in a band, if an album is free, who can resist but to go check it out? It is a simple fact of life, if you give things away for free, people will come.

#2: Convenience Is A Big Factor

It's been shown through countries with high-piracy rates that making content convenient and available for a reasonable price dramatically decreases the amount of piracy that occurs. The simple fact of introducing Netflix to a country can mean a lot in the world of piracy.

#3: Downloading Music Is Generally Illegal

In the United States especially, fines can go in to the hundreds of thousands of dollars for illegally downloading music without the Artists permission. Although the chances of being caught are slim, it is still possible.

#4: Most Money That You Pay For An Album, Doesn't Reach The Artist

And most people know it too. So logically, you would think, who are you really stealing from? Most people aren't too morally racked about stealing from "the man"...

#5: Most People Who Download Music, WOULD Pay For It If It Was Cheap And Convenient

This is probably the most important one. The truth is, nobody likes going all the way across town to pay $22.99 for a CD that they may not even like all that much. Especially with the knowledge that most of that money is going to the record label, and not supporting the Artist all that much.

What Do You Think The Future Will Look Like?

It's the Internet You fools. Some people think that the Web is a "Fad", but those who are smart like Mr. Trent Reznor The Slip know different and are using it to their advantage.

Those of you who are artists, don't wait! Get yourself on the bandwagon and start thinking up new ways to sell your music. Those of you who just listen to music, do your best to support those who are trying new things.

You probably should pay that diddly $5 for an online album, it really isn't that much, and this way you KNOW the artist is getting the money.

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My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.