Nine Inch Nails, brainchild of acclaimed artist Trent Reznor, must have been inspired by Radiohead. Unless you’ve been without a computer for the past year, you no doubt have heard that Radiohead chose a somewhat unorthodox means of releasing their latest album entitled In Rainbows. They first made the title available for download with a “pay whatever you want” marketing scheme that drew as much scrutiny as it did praise. As was their announced plan from the get-go, In Rainbows was later pulled from their download site and released conventionally. Nine Inch Nails is taking a slightly different approach but the media hype may prove just as valuable. So what are they up to? They have officially released the first of four volumes of a new album entitled Ghosts I – IV on various BitTorrent sites. Volume one, entitled Ghosts I, contains nine of the 36 brand new tracks that make up the Ghosts set.
“Now that we’re no longer constrained by a record label, we’ve decided to personally upload Ghosts I, the first of the four volumes, to various torrent sites, because we believe BitTorrent is a revolutionary digital distribution method, and we believe in finding ways to utilize new technologies instead of fighting them.”
Nine Inch Nails fans can download volume I of Ghosts for free via BitTorrent and then have the option to purchase all four volumes in a variety of ways. The complete series can be downloaded from their site for $5, ordered as a 2-CD set for $10 or ordered in one of two deluxe edition packages. They also acknowledge that fact that the remaining three volumes of Ghosts will surely appear on torrent sites and are hardly bothered by the fact. Reznor himself admits to sharing music illegally and is hardly frightened by the idea. Kudos to Nine Inch Nails for embracing concepts and technologies that should have been widely adopted by the mainstream years ago.