Trent Reznor Adds Value for a Good Cause

Stan Schroeder posted a story on Mashable today about Trent Reznor raising over $850.000 for a fan who needs a heart transplant. Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction set up a site to take donations for Eric De La Cruz and offered special gifts and access to the bands for larger donations.

Trent Reznor by bampop

Trent Reznor by bampop

Schroeder’s insights about NIN’s business model are enlightening:

“Once again, NiN prove that fans are very willing to give money (even significant amounts of money) for CDs or digital downloads, if they come with added value that seems fair to them.”

Likewise, his analysis of the mainstream music industry is biting:

“The music industry, on the other hand, has been doing exactly the opposite for years…they even tried to decrease value by introducing DRM to digital copies, which is now a scorned and widely abandoned tactic. No wonder they’re now complaining about how Internet is bad for the industry.”

Do you agree with Schroeder’s analysis?  Would you consider a similar fundraiser/giveaway?

Creative Commons Doesn’t Cannibalize Sales

NIN Frontman Trent Reznor (Photo by Capital M)

NIN Frontman Trent Reznor
(Photo by Capital M)

Chris Anderson recently posted “The best selling MP3 album of the year was free” on The Long Tail blog. Apparently, Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I-IV was the best selling MP3 album of 2008 despite being released under a Creative Commons license that allowed for free, legal sharing.

The album grossed more than $1.6 million in revenue duing the first week in release.  Creative Commons blog has more:

NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked.

This would seem to be another big win for proponents of alternative models to the traditional intellectual property attitudes stemming from the physical goods economy.