Digital optimism.

Trent Reznor says interesting things, for once.

  • in a world where the majority of record sales still happen in the physical space, correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t this release manage to convert the majority of Saul’s fan base to a digital sales model? that’s extraordinary, no?
  • so only 18.3% paid… two things here: 1) there was a large write-up in the New York Times which surely contributed to many out-of-curiousity downloaders, therefore skewing the numbers greatly but even ignoring this one in five paid!; 2) the 81.7% who didn’t are hopefully providing some value by spreading the word through last.fm, imeem, facebook, ilike and other music networking sites.
  • you’ve grown a decent base to support touring, merchandising and all the secondary (collectively becoming primary) revenue streams available to a musician.
  • the other interesting fact – people are choosing quality downloads. this challenges the notion that music is not valued any more, that music consumers (for lack of a better word) believe it’s throwaway and disposable. that’s a positive, a huge piece of learning in my opinion.

I really appreciate Mr Reznor’s enthusiasm to discuss and dissect this information. I find Radiohead’s tight-lippedness a little frustrating. This information is critical to people who hope to make a living in the music industry, and important to consumers who need a better understanding of the options available to them.

Also, I like his optimism. I’d have expected his response in the form of a mediocre, quasi-industrial dirge called One In Five or something equally insipid and NIN-y.

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3 responses to “Digital optimism.

  1. SO SORRY! I guess it might have been unclear in the post, but the bullet points are my observations!

    Everything he said is here: http://www.nin.com

  2. I remember Trent Reznor. He used to make music I wanted to listen to!

    A few interesting snippets have come out about Radiohead, eg. the non-story about Yorke downloading In Rainbows for free to show his mum and the fact that about 15 people paid the full price for it.

    But it seems that Radiohead’s primary motivation was to get everyone talking about the album so as to boost cd sales, rather than suggesting this was the way forward for them.

    And they seem to have done that, what with every blog in the world writing about them every day for a solid month.

  3. Hi Dot, sorry, I forget to even check my comments moderation thingies.

    In that case, I approve of your optimism and will expect a NIN concept album whining about the matter in five years or so.

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