Nine Inch Nails Gets Online Music Right

Nine Inch Nails (NIN) has surprised the music industry by coming out of nowhere with a new album release with a different variety of online purchasing options. The album is entitled Ghosts I-IV and is a 36-track instrumental album.

NIN is no stranger to the area of online album releases , but this is a bit different than the "pay what you want" theme made popular by Radiohead.

In this case, NIN has supplied five extensive ways to get Ghosts I-IV. For free you can download the first nine tracks, known as Ghosts I. A $US5 fee gets you all 36 tracks as well as a 40-page informational PDF as a digital download. A $US10 two-CD set is the third option. Also available is a $US75 deluxe edition package that includes the audio CDs, a data DVD, Blu-ray disc, hardcover slipcase and more. Finally, the band offers a $US300 ultra package that includes everything – the deluxe edition as well as four LP180 vinyl discs and two Giclee prints all signed and numbered by NIN frontman Trent Reznor. The latter two packages won't ship until May 1 and the ultra package is limited to 2500 pieces. The three CD packages also include an immediate digital download of the entire album.

Yet again, Reznor proves he knows how to launch an album online. Trent has even gone as far to populate popular BitTorrent trackers like The Pirate Bay with a copy of the free music.

Bonus points for NIN with the digital album download options. You can choose among 320Kbps MP3 files, FLAC lossless files, and Apple lossless files and everything is 100 per cent DRM-free.

It's important for other artists and record companies to realize how Reznor and NIN succeed with online releases, and it all comes down to having options. DRM-free options? All the better.

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Travis Hudson

PC World (US online)
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