A recent experiment in self-publishing by Nine Inch Nails appears to have yielded more than just critical kudos, as initial results show that their Ghosts I-IV online release took just two days to net $750,000 (£380,000).
The recordings were released on the band's website on 2 March under a Creative Commons licence that allows sharing. Fans - who had various purchase options starting at $5 (£2.50) for a plain download, up to $300 (£150) for an 'ultra deluxe edition' - drove the profit to levels associated with a best-selling CD distribution by 4 March.
Legitimate use for Pirate Bay
Uniquely for a major band, Nine Inch Nails are also driving interest by seeding parts of the recording on BitTorrent sites like The Pirate Bay. The accompanying statement explains:
"Ghosts I is the first part of the 36 track collection Ghosts I-IV. Undoubtedly you'll be able to find the complete collection on the same torrent network you found this file.
"But ... we encourage you to check it out at ghosts.nin.com, where the complete Ghosts I-IV is available directly from us in a variety of DRM-free digital formats, including FLAC lossless, for only $5. You can also order it on CD, or as a deluxe package with multitrack audio files, high definition audio on Blu-ray disc, and a large hard-bound book."
If that's not choice, then we don't know what is. Moreover, the fact that it appears to be making NIN richer by the second will surely encourage the record company suits to pile on-board the bandwagon in their droves.