Mud between Nine Inch Nails frontman, Trent Reznor, and Radiohead has begun to fly over Internet music distribution. Reznor said the Radiohead's pay-what-you-want online release of In Rainbows was "insincere" and a "gimmick." Reznor made the remarks on an Australian Broadcasting Company television show.
Nine Inch Nails recently released Ghosts I-IV, a 36-track instrumental album that was available online in a variety of different options. Five months prior, Radiohead released In Rainbows online with a free distribution model, which accepted donations.
Reznor's problem with the Radiohead release is that it was available encoded at a less-than-hi-fidelity 160Kbps. Reznor said Radiohead's online release of In Rainbows was comparable to a MySpace-quality audio stream. On the other hand the Ghosts I-IV album is encoded at 320Kbps, which is high for a digital track.
Reznor continues to describe the Radiohead release – which is no longer available as the band is relying on a traditional sales method – as a shrewed marketing gimmick. He also has a complaint with Radiohead getting all of the credit for the online music distribution model at the same time only making low-quality music available for a requested donation.
To date, Reznor's Ghosts I-IV album has generated $US1.6 million from online sales.
What says Radiohead? Stay tuned...