The Uppity Bastard

Smug Life

“Ghosts” Frighten the Music Industry

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In what is still news to many people, NIN’s Trent Reznor released a new 36-track instrumental album two days ago, entitled Ghosts. Why is this interesting or relevant you ask? Well, our friend Trent has taken Radiohead’s “I plan on releasing this album on my own” model a few steps further and given the consumer multiple different options for acquiring his music.

First, there is the option to download (for free) the first 9 tracks of the album; there is also a $5 option to download all 36. The next step up is a payment of $10, which gets you 2 audio CD’s and a digital booklet with artwork, etc. For $75, you would receive a fabric slipcase with both audio CD’s, a Data DVD containing all the multi-tracked recording sessions from EVERY song (meaning you are free to mess around with everything and create you own remixes [fellow DJ’s rejoice!]) as well as a Blu-ray disc containing hi-definition audio and an accompanying slideshow [potheads rejoice]. The most outrageous option (not only because of the cost but because it has already SOLD OUT OF ALL 2500 COPIES) carries a $300 price tag; you receive everything previously mentioned, along with:

  • every track on 4 pieces of heavyweight vinyl
  • a hard-bound book containing 48 pages of photographs of “visual aesthetic accompaniments to the music from the recording process and outside world”
  • a second hard-bound book containing two exclusive, limited edition art prints of imagery from the music

…and, on the package, a hand written autograph from Trent.

Whether or not you think this is kind of overkill, understand that in selling out the deluxe packages alone (considering he is releasing this all by himself without the help of ANY record company/distributor), he has already made, in the past two days…..$750,000.00

This is both completely ridiculous and magnificent at the same time; Reznor truly is paving the way for a new revolution in the music industry. Though I do find this quite inspiring, as a Recording Engineer, this new DIY model pretty much scares the hell out of me. I make a living by working in a high budget studio, where the [remaining] big record labels pay gobs of money to churn out popular music. When the industry takes its final nose-dive, I might have to find a new career path. Scary.

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March 6, 2008 - Posted by | Music | , , , ,

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