updated 12:00 pm EDT, Fri March 14, 2008
NIN Online Sales 1.6m
Nine Inch Nails' experiment with selling a new album almost exclusively by itself has netted more than $1.6 million over just the space of a week, the band said late Thursday. The group managed the figure for its instrumental album Ghosts I-IV through 800,000 individual downloads and orders. While some of these were free downloads of the first quarter of the album, a large but undisclosed number of these were either $5 paid downloads for the full offering or else preorders for physical copies that include the download, which range from $10 for the album alone to $300 for a collectors' edition that has already sold out.
Previous reports had sales of the $300 version reach $750,000 in revenue by itself, though Nine Inch Nails has not broken down sales for the rest of the for-pay options or detailed the expenses involved. Both the collector's version and a $75 deluxe edition include a DVD with the raw tracks used to compose the album as well as a Blu-ray version with surround audio.
The release establishes a breakthrough for online music, which has until now largely been dependent on releases through third-party stores. Radiohead's touted self-release of In Rainbows in MP3 form was described primarily as an attempt to curb leaks and was followed up by a higher-quality launch through most mainstream outlets, including iTunes and retail stores. The option disappeared from the band's website once the other commercial options were available.