The rock band Nine Inch Nails has made a splash with its new album, a 36-track compilation called "Ghosts I-IV." The songs are not only selling, but it's the way they're selling.
In going it alone without a big label, band leader Trent Reznor has made the most of Music 2.0, says Bruce Houghton at his blog, hypebot.
"Reznor's entire marketing campaign for this self-release, which means he keeps the lion's share of all profits, consisted of an announcement on the band's website and seeding the free edition across P2P and torrent sites."
Then he stoked sales by offering "Ghosts" in many flavors and prices, and at many outlets. NIN newbies can get free tracks, casual fans can buy $5 downloads, and fanatics can wallow in $300 Limited Edition Ultra-Deluxe Editions (oops, too late—already sold out).
Reznor and others are finally pushing the record industry beyond a one-size-fits-all mentality, much as Henry Ford finally gave up on the all-black Model Ts.
"All this seems quite revolutionary," Houghton writes, "until you consider that Reznor is just following a marketing mantra that other consumer-sales-driven industries have understood for decades: GIVE THE CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT."