First Radiohead did it, now Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is following suit. They are chipping away at what Thom Yorke calls the “decaying business model” of the traditional music industry.
Using the internet as the perfect platform, both bands are taking both the music and its pricing and marketing directly to the punters as Radiohead asked their fans to name their own price, save for a small processing charge.
Yesterday on the Nine Inch Nails (NIN) official site, Reznor (pictured), the lead singer, declared: “as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label.”
He said that having been under recording contracts for the past 18 years he has “watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different.”
In lieu of a middleman Reznor and his band now plan to have a “direct relationship with the audience”.
Radiohead’s new album In Rainbows is so far only available directly for download from their website, and pending an announcement in the near future NIN may be going down the same road.
Indeed, Radiohead’s move has been described by Guy Hands, owner of EMI, as “a wake up call” for the music industry, and has outlined the urgent need to move away from pushing CD sales and concentrate on going digital.
Hands has warned that other established bands could follow in Radiohead’s lead – as NIN have just done – and cut the record companies out completely.
By Marie Boran