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Nine Inch Nails pulls a Radiohead: Another Nail in the Record Industry's Coffin

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Nine Inch Nails pulls a Radiohead: Another Nail in the Record Industry's Coffin

Old 10-08-07, 05:15 PM
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Nine Inch Nails pulls a Radiohead: Another Nail in the Record Industry's Coffin

from pitchforkmedia:

Reznor Hammers Another Nail in the Industry's Coffin

For the second time in a little over a week, a major player on the alt-rock scene has announced their departure from the mainstream music industry, as Trent Reznor announced today via the Nine Inch Nails website that he is no longer signed to longtime label Interscope, and may perhaps be choosing to go it alone:

"Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate.

Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.

Exciting times, indeed."

Reznor very publicly clashed with Interscope over the release of the last NIN record, Year Zero, leaking pieces of the album himself and encouraging fans to download it for free. So it would be unlikely that he would sign with another major, or even any label at all-- given Reznor's large and rabid cult following, he could very easily pull a Radiohead and take matters into his own hands. (Perhaps that is what is alluded to by that "direct relationship with the audience.")
Old 10-08-07, 05:48 PM
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Not surprised at this, especially considering what went down in Australia.

While i'm glad these artists are finally giving these fucking Record labels what they deserve, it's disappointing that record stores (mainly "mom 'n pop" stores) seem to be acceptable collateral damage..
Old 10-08-07, 07:43 PM
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That is fine, as long as I have the option to buy a physical CD from him upon release of a new album. I have no interest in downloading music which I then would have to back up and store and which may not be a lossless copy on top of it. Radiohead made a CD available, but only in a large package with other things.
Old 10-09-07, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Rogue588
Not surprised at this, especially considering what went down in Australia.
What happened down under?
Old 10-09-07, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Scorpio
That is fine, as long as I have the option to buy a physical CD from him upon release of a new album. I have no interest in downloading music which I then would have to back up and store and which may not be a lossless copy on top of it. Radiohead made a CD available, but only in a large package with other things.
For all we know, he may just be producing a CD himself rather than doing something download-only.
Old 10-09-07, 05:29 AM
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I've always enjoyed what Reznor has done, so I'm interested in what comes from this.
Old 10-09-07, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Scorpio
That is fine, as long as I have the option to buy a physical CD from him upon release of a new album. I have no interest in downloading music which I then would have to back up and store and which may not be a lossless copy on top of it.
DAMN right. I will not buy downloadable music...ever...unless it costs a couple of cents per song, and then only in a few cases. This type of "arrangement" will never make much money from me. From any band!
Old 10-09-07, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
What happened down under?
On May 13, 2007 Reznor made a post on his blog on the official Nine Inch Nails website condemning Universal Music Group for their pricing and distribution plans for Year Zero.He criticized the company's retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia as "ABSURD" concluding "I guess as a reward for being a 'true fan' you get ripped off". Reznor went on to say "As the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more." Reznor's post, specifically his citing of the recording industry's "self-inflicted wounds", elicited considerable media attention.

On September 16, 2007, Trent Reznor continued his attack on what he perceived as unfairly high CD prices at a concert in Australia, urging fans to "steal" his music online instead of purchasing it legally. The text of Reznor's speech was widely reported on Digg:
"Last time I was here, I was doing a lot of complaining about the ridiculous prices of CDs down here. And that story got picked up and got carried all around the world and now my record label all around the world hates me, because I yelled at them, I called them out for being greedy fucking assholes. I didn't get a chance to check, has the price come down at all? I see a no, a no, a no... Has anyone seen the price come down? Okay, well, you know what that means - STEAL IT. Steal away. Steal and steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealin'. Because one way or another these motherfuckers will get it through their head that they're ripping people off and that's not right."

The break-down of the incident is from Wikipedia . A video of his rant can be found on YouTube .
Old 10-09-07, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by zombiezilla
DAMN right. I will not buy downloadable music...ever...unless it costs a couple of cents per song, and then only in a few cases. This type of "arrangement" will never make much money from me. From any band!
artists have been ripped off forever by record companies. if this is the "arrangement" that will finally get them their just rewards, then so be it. good for these bands to step up.
Old 10-09-07, 12:41 PM
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A well established band can take their money and run and distribute themselves, but a starting band won't have that benefit. I can't imagine how hard it would be to make it onto the radio without a major studio greasing palms.
Old 10-09-07, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
A well established band can take their money and run and distribute themselves, but a starting band won't have that benefit. I can't imagine how hard it would be to make it onto the radio without a major studio greasing palms.
Which is a problem if you're using radio-play as a measure of success. But there are numerous indie bands that manage to make a living from their music while sticking to small labels, or even opening their own.
Old 10-09-07, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by scarredgod
artists have been ripped off forever by record companies. if this is the "arrangement" that will finally get them their just rewards, then so be it. good for these bands to step up.
Everything in everyone's life is a "racket" to some extent. How much (or how little) you participate in the scam(s) is your own choice. I will not pay for substandard quality, with no physical product, and I'm sure as hell not printing out my own CD sleeves (unless it's for a bootleg). No CD=no sale. I'm sorry if Reznor feels fucked (or that his fans have been fucked), but he won't make much of a difference.
This will become the NIN album that everyone has a shitty free burned copy of, without lyrics, pics, cover, etc. It will be as good as any CD my kids leave on the floor of my car; it will be much more replaceable, too. I wonder if he'll sign 10 or 20 blanks for me so I can sell autographed copies of his new releases for the next few years? Nothing against Trent, I like NIN quite well. Even the "Two" project w/Rob Halford. But I won't support this idea.
Old 10-09-07, 07:52 PM
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Stick it to the man, Trent!
Old 10-09-07, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zombiezilla
I will not pay for substandard quality, with no physical product, and I'm sure as hell not printing out my own CD sleeves (unless it's for a bootleg). No CD=no sale.
Sadly, I think people who think like this (myself included) are becoming a minority...
Old 10-09-07, 11:18 PM
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I would be extremely surprised if Trent chose to completely forgo the solid state media for download-only tracks. Even Radiohead is gonna be releasing 'In Rainbows' on CD early next year.
Old 10-10-07, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
A well established band can take their money and run and distribute themselves, but a starting band won't have that benefit. I can't imagine how hard it would be to make it onto the radio without a major studio greasing palms.
I think that's also part of the point these bands are trying to make. Radio itself is a dying medium, especially as Clear Channel recycles the songs each hour.
Old 10-10-07, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by zombiezilla
I will not pay for substandard quality, with no physical product, and I'm sure as hell not printing out my own CD sleeves (unless it's for a bootleg). No CD=no sale.
I feel the same way, downloading a album isn't as satisfying as owning a CD.

But I know that even smaller labels and even some local music groups are able to get their CD's produced on non-CD-R discs.

If Trent can go it without a label and still put out music on silver CD's then he has my respect, but I don't think there will be a huge shift in artists ditching labels until a bigger act than NIN or Radiohead goes this route.
Old 10-10-07, 10:15 AM
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The thing about NIN and Radiohead is they still make albums that are meant to be heard as a whole. Because of this I think there will always be a demand for these artists' music on disc.

But the majority of "popular" artists (and I use that term loosely) have so many filler tracks it's no wonder people cherry pick tracks and get them via the web.
Old 10-11-07, 11:18 AM
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I am going to email a mod to see if we can shorten the title of this thread to:

Another Nail in the Record Industry's Coffin

from sterogum:

Good News For People Who Like Bad News (For Record Labels): Madonna Leaves Warner For Live Nation

People's head spun when Radiohead announced their little experiment in the tip jar release model, and although terms and details of a proper CD release remain to be seen, the past week's been a parade of major label artists (sort of) following suit: Trent Reznor announced his long expected break with Interscope et al, Oasis and Jamiroquai are rumored to release their next efforts free and online, and today comes news of Madonna's attempt to drive a nail in the record label's coffers:

Via Wall Street Journal:

In the latest seismic shift to rock the music industry, pop superstar Madonna is close to leaving Warner Music Group Corp.'s Warner Bros. Records for a $120 million deal with concert-promotion giant Live Nation Inc., according to people familiar with the deal. Madonna still has another studio album left to deliver with Warner Music.

The 10-year pact with Live Nation, of Beverly Hills, Calif., would give Madonna a rich mix of cash and stock in exchange for the rights to sell three studio albums, promote concert tours, sell merchandise and license her name.

The fact that a concert promoter like Live Nation is set to land the deal rather than a traditional record label like Warner Music is a sign of how quickly the landscape is shifting in the cratering music industry.

Traditionally, acts like Madonna would release their recordings through a major record label and then make separate deals for touring and merchandising with other companies. Now, however, a range of players in the music business -- labels, concert promoters and even managers and ticketing companies -- are eager to make broad deals that give them a larger piece of the pie by participating in revenue streams such as endorsement deals between artists and advertisers, as well as the sales of concert tickets and merchandise.

The Journal reports Madonna's deal specifics: a $17.5M advance, advance payments on the new albums set at $50M and $60M. Also, Live Nation's anteing up $50M for the right to promote her concert tours. Meanwhile, Madge has managed to retain the industry standard 90/10 split on the concert gate.

As far as marketable major label artists, Madonna's up there. So you have Madonna on the big-fish side, Radiohead on the innovator side ... is this the end of the labels scheme?

Put another way: If she isn't the straw that'll break the label's back, which artist needs to come out and go the non-label route to call it a technical knockout?

One thing's for sure: It isn't a fun time to work for a major.
Old 10-11-07, 12:15 PM
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I find it quite interesting that one of the problems with the standard album release is that there always seems to be leaks before release, this new Radiohead album didn't have that problem.

Sucks for those who want early reviews or wanting a chance to preview the songs, but interesting as how it has solved that problem.

I also find it funny that not that long after the "win" for the RIAA there is news of artists packing things up and going on their own.
Old 10-12-07, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
I find it quite interesting that one of the problems with the standard album release is that there always seems to be leaks before release, this new Radiohead album didn't have that problem.

Sucks for those who want early reviews or wanting a chance to preview the songs, but interesting as how it has solved that problem.
They leaked it themselves. We get a technically low quality release on the internet, and the cd will be released early next year. But they get money for it. It's very smart for established music artists. I don't think the "pay anything you want" will last beyond this, for any established artist (and you do have a chance to preview the songs, you can pay nothing).

When TR talked about it a few months ago, he mentioned something like paypal-ing $4 and being able to download from the website, but that a real cd would be released as well. He also talked about how the album would be available the day it was finished, instead of the three month wait now between a finished date and the retail release. This is what stops the leaking, and Radiohead just proved it.

I think what Radiohead did is really cool and I sent them $8. I think that's a very fair price on all sides, but I regret it a little because I really like the album and want to buy a physical copy (I always download new stuff and if I like it I always buy the album). I don't want to pay twice, but maybe they would discount what you paid for the download from the msrp.

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