Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Trent Reznor calls Radiohead

Although there might not seem to be too much difference between Trent Reznor and Radiohead's pay-if-you-like models for album releases, Trent Reznor reckons he's actually purer that Thom Yorke, on the grounds that the Nine Inch Nails downloads are of a superior audio quality:

"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 - I but 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."

'Not including artwork' - yes, because a small thumbnail of an album cover to pop up on coverflow really does add something to the experience. And since Radiohead allowed people to pay what they believed the downloads were worth, surely you can't argue that people didn't get what they paid for? The very opposite, surely?


7 comments:

Michael said...

The only thing being that Radiohead didn't make clear what quality would be offered until it was actually sent to you. Not that I can really complain, I didn't pay for it, listened to it once then deleted it. But it's still a valid point.

JohnneyB said...

Yeh, maybe. But the 160Kbps files that they DID send out sound pretty good to my ears. No I didn't pay for it, but yes I bought the 1-disc vinyl, which is surely nearer to the ideal that most people want isn't it? Certainly it matches my music-listening-and-buying habits almost exactly. (try before you buy)

MadCowDzz said...

I believe your comment against NIN's small artwork is invalid while their website freely offers a PDF...

simon h b said...

@madcowdzz
Perhaps, although until the Zune with the A4 sized screen is launched, it's a moot point, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

but if the tracks are finished and you're going to let people pay what they like for them, why not release them in the best possible quality online? radiohead decided against doing that, then released the album traditionally through XL a short while later. why? trent reznor is right, it cheapens the whole thing and makes it seem like an elaborate marketing ploy.

on the other hand, his internet release is all instrumental and wouldn't sell beyond his core fanbase, so it's not like he's just given away thriller...

Michael said...

My only issue with what Radiohead did is that I believe they should have had the album streaming on their website for people to hear before buying, and made the quality of the download that people could purchase explicitly clear, therfore truly allowing people to pay what they thought the album was worth.

Anon: Radiohead followed up the online release with a 'traditional' release because a lot of people don't want, or are unable to download albums. There's nothing wrong with making your music available to as many people as possible.

Anonymous said...

"Yeh, maybe. But the 160Kbps files that they DID send out sound pretty good to my ears."

160kbps is pretty abysmal. Most grab-it-for-free filesharers wouldn't bother with that.

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