Declaring digital sales a success, rock veterans Nine Inch Nails have released another online album, The Slip. Unlike their last album, this one is totally free, and, according to front man Trent Reznor, is a thank-you to the band's fans.
In March, no longer affiliated with a record label, Nine Inch Nails released its album Ghosts I-IV on its Web site. An assortment of payment options were offered: free for the first nine tracks, $5 for the whole digital album, $10-$300 for disc sets. Ghosts, according to Reznor, netted $1.6 million in just over a week.
In the wake of Radiohead's album In Rainbows, offered for a limited time as a digital download for which fans could literally name their own prices, a number of high-profile artists have distanced themselves from the flagging music industry and experimented with nontraditional distribution or digital giveaways. Nine Inch Nails' Reznor has been a vocal supporter of digital sales, collaborating with musician Saul Williams to release an album for free online.
With his band's latest release, he hopes to be light years ahead in "openness." Not only is The Slip free, it's been released under a Creative Commons license, specifically the "attribution noncommercial share alike license." Fans are encouraged to share the music, blog it, "remix" it, and use it in audio and video projects.