Nine Inch Nails – the best music marketers in the world?


NIN seem to be on the cutting edge of “new marketing” – even more so than the record companies (surprise surprise).

In an apparent attempt to “go into battle with the people whose job it is to figure out how to sell the record” i.e. the much loved record companies, the bands frontman Trent Reznor devised his own marketing campaign for the upcoming album Year Zero. In true Reznor madness genius his campaign includes gems like:

– leaking tracks on the internet by leaving them on usb sticks in bathrooms of concerts.To quote the man him self “The USB drive was simply a mechanism of leaking the music and data we wanted out there. The medium of the CD is outdated and irrelevant. It’s really painfully obvious what people want – DRM-free music they can do what they want with. If the greedy record industry would embrace that concept I truly think people would pay for music and consume more of it.

– designing an “alternate reality game”for the album

– registering a whole bunch of domain names, and leaving clues to the sites in various NIN tour t shirts

– deliberately leaking tracks to radio stations for them to play

– streaming the entire album from their myspace page

For a full NIN “Campaign” breakdown – check here and here

All I can say is WOW – Trent has essentially made a user generated marketing campaign and is almost giving his music away. As for the actual mechanics and content of his camping – only he could explain it relevance. However in saying this – it works and is something totally new and unique. Now if only the record companies would wake up and realise that this is what the people want.

BTW – their official site recommends Safari and Firefox to view the site – how cool!


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