Nine Inch Nails are back with another free release; this time, it’s an upcoming album release called "The Slip". And NIN continue to give us the kinds of formats we like, with the income this time coming entirely from physical sales:
the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. your link will include all options – all free. all downloads include a PDF with artwork and credits.
for those of you interested in physical products, fear not. we plan to make a version of this release available on CD and vinyl in july. details coming soon.
Okay, 24/96 WAV files seem sort of like overkill, but it’s nice to have these other options.
Updated: It also seems that NIN has used a Creative Commons attribution / non-commercial / share alike license, so you can remix their track for non-commercial purposes, free. (That’s quite a lot more generous, I’m afraid, than Radiohead in their remix contest — the objection from many observers wasn’t just that Radiohead was charging for the stems of “Nude” separately, but that they retained copyright ownership to remix artists’ work.)
One thing no one seemed to mention about the previous NIN release Ghosts was that the content of the music had taken a different and presumably non-commercial direction, meaning the new distribution method was basically a necessity. I enjoyed that direction, and a lot of you evidently did, too.
But judging by the way this is spreading through the Web, I think we’ve learned that there’s a three-step method to making music distribution a success: 1. give people something free, then hope for sales of something else, 2. give them access to the formats they want, 3. be Nine Inch Nails. Now if only #3 were a bit easier.