Trent Reznor has taken a swipe at English whingers Radiohead for using the internet as a cynical marketing stunt. Like Radiohead, Reznor has released a digital version of his new album first, following it up with a physical release. Like Radiohead too, you can legally download the music for free. And it's brought Reznor immediate payback - the limited edition "deluxe" CD of Nine Inch Nails' Ghost sold out almost instantly, grossing $750,000 - although he hasn't revealed digital sales yet.
So what's his beef?
Reznor's proposition offers the paying fan considerably better value for money: lossless versions in FLAC, and artwork, for $5. And he contrasts this with the In Rainbows digital release.
"What they did was a cool thing; I think the way they parlayed it into a marketing gimmick has certainly been shrewd," he told ABC's Michael Atkin. "But if you look at what they did, though, it was very much a bait and switch to get you to pay for a MySpace-quality stream as a way to promote a very traditional record sale."
"There's nothing wrong with that - but I don't see that as a big revolution [that] they're kinda getting credit for."
"What they did right: they surprised the world with a new record, and it was available digitally first. What they did wrong: by making it such a low quality thing, not even including artwork... to me that feels insincere."
Reznor agreed with the view that the model only really favours established artists, calling it a "fair critique". He also blasted the "stunning" ineptitude of major labels and said their current licensing strategy is "five years too late".
As we reported, technical problems last week drove fans to the P2P Torrent sites. Reznor took responsibility for the snafu - which he said was caused by his insistence on providing high quality streams - and apologised.
"We were caught with our pants down," he said. ®