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Nine Inch Nails' online sales net $1.6m

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.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004

    0

    AND...

    something not mentioned here. NIN is not a mainstream act. They do have a loyal following, but you will rarely hear NIN played on any commercial radio station.

    Also, this album is 100% instrumental and plays like a soundtrack to a movie. This is not typical of NIN stuff at all.

    So for them to do this much business on this type of album.. imagine what more popular artists would get!

    Record companies.. it was great knowing you! Take care and dont forget to stay in touch!!!

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    0

    better yet

    please forget to stay in touch!!!

    What was the bottom line after expenses? Is that number going to be considered excellent compared to sales of the pap that the record companies push as popular?

    NIN's earlier works have been in my collection for quite a while, but I don't expect those albums agree with everyone's musical tastes. Pretty Hate Machine was a very good album, though I only recall hearing about half the songs on the radio...

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    class, attention now

    Everyone please raise your hands if you think Apple is going to include a media competing with their business model in their hardware. Really quick, don't forget how this the design in the past has been slavishly devoted to catering to sales through Apple's store, and did not focus on popularity.

    I thought so.

    Until BluRay becomes a strongly dominant medium with sales growing and a steady rate, Apple wouldn't have a need to include optical disc drives in the AppleTV. They're going to push their agenda because this is one area of business where they can without risk of lost sales.

    Personally, I like their agenda in this area, so I'm all for such practices, but don't delude yourself into thinking that IF Apple puts BR drives in the ATV, that it will happen sometime soon.

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005

    0

    what's that sound?

    Oh, I think it's the sound of record company execs' lame asses being thrown out on the street.

    I am so happy I got to live at this time in history - when the artist is about to get their revenge.

    Labels, RIP. Doofuses.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    but ...

    how did NIN become big? Through traditional record label marketing.

    This is certainly an interesting model but people are buying it only because they already know NIN.

    OTOH this could be troublesome if you are a record label. What if more of your big money-making acts take this route, and cut you out?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    cost and popularity

    something not mentioned here. NIN is not a mainstream act. They do have a loyal following, but you will rarely hear NIN played on any commercial radio station.

    They may not be 'mainstream' (if by that you mean just your average "pop" band), but they have a LARGE following. h***, I've even heard of them.

    Also, this album is 100% instrumental and plays like a soundtrack to a movie. This is not typical of NIN stuff at all.

    Yet, as climacs said (what, someone here trying to kind of defend a label???), who's buying this stuff? NIN fans (and, since it is different, most likely their hard-core fans).

    So for them to do this much business on this type of album.. imagine what more popular artists would get!

    Did you figure out how much the 'not well known' artists would get? Maybe ask Reznor, who produced and did an on-line sale for another artist, and it sold enough to barely (if that) cover production and hosting costs.

    What was the bottom line after expenses? Is that number going to be considered excellent compared to sales of the pap that the record companies push as popular?

    Good questions. No mention of costs in the article. And any comparison would need to be made against like material, not to the pap.

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004

    0

    @climacs

    who's to say that NIN wouldnt have been popular without a record company.

    back then (1988 is when NIN was founded).. how was someone to do promotion for a band on a world scale without a record company. Unless u had tons of capital, forget it.. but now, it's as simple as a myspace page and a CD burner :) - maybe not that simple, but still much easier than in 1988.

    my point is the model is changing and it's not good for the record companies.

  1. dimplemonkey

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    NIN has set the bar...

    I think the model they're presenting is something that can make all sides of the music coin happy. Give us some free digital downloads, add them to a larger collection of digital downloads for a small fee, add that to a physical copy for a larger fee, and finally, add all of that with an exclusive limited edition package for those who want to pay out the nose. You've managed to bag in one fell swoop, the die hard fans, the regular fans, the newly made fans, and the curious who don't know if they should be fans but are interested to know if the music reaches them.

    You've just mamanged to find the happy medium when it comes to the new age of music and digital distribution. Freaking brilliant, Reznor!

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