Nine Inch Nails releases album the right way

Filed Under Movies and Music, News on 2008-03-05, 15:15

Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IV

I truly believe that Trent Reznor “gets it” with his recent release of Ghosts in a variety of forms. For those that don’t know, Ghosts is the latest album from Nine Inch Nails. Here’s the announcement that came along with the release:

Hello from Nine Inch Nails.

We’re very proud to present a new collection of instrumental music, Ghosts I-IV. Almost two hours of music recorded over an intense ten week period last fall, Ghosts I-IV sprawls Nine Inch Nails across a variety of new terrain.

Now that we’re no longer constrained by a record label, we’ve decided to personally upload Ghosts I, the first of the four volumes, to various torrent sites, because we believe BitTorrent is a revolutionary digital distribution method, and we believe in finding ways to utilize new technologies instead of fighting them.

We encourage you to share the music of Ghosts I with your friends, post it on your website, play it on your podcast, use it for video projects, etc. It’s licensed for all non-commercial use under Creative Commons.

We’ve also made a 40 page PDF book to accompany the album. If you’d like to download it for free, visit

Ghosts I is the first part of the 36 track collection Ghosts I-IV. Undoubtedly you’ll be able to find the complete collection on the same torrent network you found this file, but if you’re interested in the release, we encourage you to check it out at, where the complete Ghosts I-IV is available directly from us in a variety of DRM-free digital formats, including FLAC lossless, for only $5. You can also order it on CD, or as a deluxe package with multitrack audio files, high definition audio on Blu-ray disc, and a large hard-bound book.

We genuinely appreciate your support, and hope you enjoy the new music. Thanks for listening.

I think Radiohead paved some way with their release of Rainbows, but Trent Reznor has blown the doors off with this kind of release. For years I’ve been clamoring for releases of media in ways that I want to use it, with appropriate pricing and licensing. DRM-Free with a Creative Commons license for personal use in any way you see fit. Thank you Mr. Reznor. Here’s hoping more artists follow in your footsteps.

For all you nay-sayers that think this isn’t a viable business model, there are posts pointing out the revenue of the limited edition collectors set at $750k (2500 units at $300 apiece). In addition to that there is teh $75 “deluxe edition” (physical media), $10 CD, and $5 downloads (totally unlimited). Minus the costs of producing all this, some materials, and bandwidth, Trent still ends up with a pretty significant chunk of income. With all the major players in the music industry dropping DRM and more and more artists releasing their work for free, the music industry is finally getting the upheaval that it needed.