Continuing the theme of my last post on social music, here’s a video of Nine Inch Nails front man and music industry innovator Trent Reznor being interviewed by Digg founder Kevin Rose for Digg Dialogue.
Trent is one of the only big artists switched on to current trends and proactively engaged in business model innovation, apart from maybe Radiohead, but they’re much less vocal.
Recently he and NIN abandoned their label and became independent, and have experimented with different ways of monitising the bands output such as selling albums at different pricing points and even giving albums away for free.
They have also been releasing muli-track versions of songs for fans to create remixes and mash ups for the last three albums and have even released an iPhone app.
It seems like he advocates a freemium business model on the basis that music is free on the internet anyway these days, and that people will still be willing to pay for special edition CD’s and merchandise.
I agree with him in this respect; in that giving away free music attracts more people to your brand and you can make up the revenue in other areas, such as selling premium products and attracting more people to live shows. However, NIN have a very large and loyal fan base, and I’m not sure that their revenue experiments would be applicable to smaller bands.
Anyway, take a look. Let me know what you think.