Friday, March 14, 2008

Trent Reznor on Music Downloads

I just ran across this interesting Q&A session with Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails).

He talks about his band's latest album, that they have released digitally.

I love listening to Trent Reznor as he is so candid about his reasons for quitting the label scene and honest as to how this new approach (releasing directly to the public) is going.

It's obvious that the paradigm shift towards digital downloads has been a blessing for bands like NIN and Radiohead - bands large enough the capitalize on their existing popularity. Reznor acknowledges this.

It's also funny hearing him talk about trying to take care of 'all that shit that isn't music' - websites, customer service, credit card fees etc. The album NIN has released is for sale on their site as a very high-quality download, along with art work and such.

Which in itself is also interesting. Unlike the much talked about FREE model, where the music is given away and the bands reap the rewards of merchandise, concert sales etc. NIN has decided that there is value in a premium download product and boxed CD sets.

In truth, you can download the first 9 tracks for free, but it's pretty obvious that they think there is still mileage in the paid download or feature rich CD offer.

Which, to me, talks to the power of consumption versus ownership. Seth Godin had a great blog post about FREE - that while a $1 (or $5) is nothing to most people, it does change the game. It's about commitment and choice - you're making a choice and that is represented by the effort of purchasing, not the price.

Even if the effort itself is small, it's the fact that you made it that's significant. You've gone on the record with yourself - you own it. And that is different from consumption.

Consumption is transitory. It's fleeting. And easily interchangeable.

The real trick for music bands is to get their fans to own their music, not consume it. I think NIN is heading in the right direction here. Giving it all away for free would have been a mistake. So would have DRM'ing it to the hilt and forcing people to own it.

Getting them to choose it because they WANT to own it... now there is the real value.

Digg this
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: